Re: Flu from Outer Space

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Sun Jan 30 2000 - 10:47:23 MST

> It caught [Amara Graps'] eye because I _did_ have a pretty bad
> influenza...
> P.S. The "solar" theory below, I just don't buy. My understanding
> of radiation pressure forces in the interplanetary space and in
> planetary magnetospheres is the material would be forced outward.
> Therefore, this theory linking to heavier solar activity would
> mean that the radiation pressure forces would blow the dust
> outwards _more_ from the Solar System....

Im with Higson, [very unlikely], however the actual mechanism would
not be increased radiation pressure from the sun blowing space dust
toward the earth. What they must have had in mind was the current
peak of the ~11 year solar cycle expands the upper atmosphere [a lot]
and so the widely scattered interplanetary dust would be more likely to
be captured by our atmosphere. The actual total radiation from the sun
does not vary that much over the 11 year cycle, [so the dust wouldn't
but the radiation in the 10.7 cm band does increase a lot during a solar
and that wavelength is especially good at heating and expanding the upper

It is interesting that the flu pandemic of 1915-1918 [that killed two of
my great great grandparents] spans a solar max, however I looked up
and found it was not a particularly high one. See

Furthermore, it is quite easy to establish contagion links from person
to person when the flu is going around. The flu of 15-18 could be
explained by more people trotting all over the globe to fight the great
war, for instance. spike

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