A message about cosmic rays passing close to Earth and causing bodily damage if electronic devices are kept close has been doing the rounds on Facebook and WhatsApp for a few years now.
The warning message which has been attributed to one “Singapore Television news” reads:
"Tonight at 12:30 to 03:30 make sure to turn off the phone, cellular, tablet, etc and put away from your body. Singapore television announced the news. Please tell your family and friends. Cosmic rays will pass close to Earth. So please turn off your cell phone. Do not leave your device close to your body, it can cause you terrible damage. Check Google and NASA BBC News. Send this message to all the people who matter to you. "
However, there seems to be very little truth to the claim, according to website Snopes.
The rumour has been around since 2014 and there is no scientific explanation for it, says the website.
It further goes on to add that these events cause no health risk to humans on Earth and the risk of a cell phone (which is already non-existent) will not be aggravated.
Speaking to Snopes, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) clarified:
When these particles hit the atmosphere, large showers of secondary particles are created with some even reaching the ground. These particles pose little threat to humans and systems on the ground.
They Pose Risk to Electrical Devices, Not Humans
Snopes also clarifies that NASA and NOAA study the solar particles that the sun ejects in Earth’s direction to assess the risk they pose to electrical grids and devices, and not humans.
(With inputs from Snopes.)
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