How Does Radiation Cause Corrosion in Space?

How Does Radiation Cause Corrosion in Space? This is actually quite complicated as the radiation in space covers a wide spectral range and the interaction between matter and radiation depends on the wavelength (energy) of the radiation. Anyhow, radiation can be divided into two groups – ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation such as infrared or visible light can only damage the material if the intensity is high (e.g. laser beam). Ionizing radiation like UV-light, X-rays and gamma rays on the other hand has already enough energy to remove electrons from atoms and this degrades materials over time. In the case of high energy gamma radiation there are also other interactions possible such as the creation of electron-positron couples, compton scattering, photodisintegration and photofission. Learn more about corrosion in space by watching our new science video:

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