Icarus I and II: Investigating Cosmic Showers Through Undergraduate Research Involvement




Jellison, Evan

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Cosmic showers are a phenomenon where high-energy particles from space interact with matter in Earth’s atmosphere, decaying into secondary particles in a showering pattern. One of these secondary particles, the muon, has the innate ability to travel longer through the atmosphere before decaying further than any other secondary product of cosmic showers. Because of this ability, the muon flux gradient as a function of altitude can be measured to study atmospheric conditions and to better understand the muon. Icarus I & II were high-altitude balloon missions launched to measure the muon flux gradient over central Texas. The design for Icarus was intended to be used again for future high-altitude balloon missions and to encourage further undergraduate research involvement. Both Icarus missions were launched and retrieved successfully while Icarus II recorded atmospheric data and the muon flux gradient. Here we present the preliminary results of our findings.



Icarus, Muon, high-altitude, atmosphere, flux, balloon, particle, undergraduate, SSE, Society for Space Exploration, research, Honors College


Jellison, E. G. (2021). Icarus I and II: Investigating cosmic showers through undergraduate research involvement (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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