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Of primary cosmic rays, which originate outside of Earth's atmosphere, about 99% are the nuclei of well-known atoms (stripped of their electron shells), and about 1% are solitary electrons (similar to beta particles).Of the nuclei, about 90% are simple protons (i.e., hydrogen nuclei); 9% are alpha particles, identical to helium nuclei; and 1% are the nuclei of heavier elements, called HZE ions.
The Hess balloon flight took place on 7 August 1912.
By sheer coincidence, exactly 100 years later on 7 August 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory rover used its Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) instrument to begin measuring the radiation levels on another planet for the first time.
These are significantly higher than the photon energy of even the highest-energy photons detected to date.
The energy of the massless photon depends solely on frequency, not speed, as photons always travel at the same speed.
To these scientists we owe some of the most accurate measurements ever made of cosmic-ray ionization as a function of altitude and depth.