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Fact Check: Viral Post Warning People To Switch Off Phones And Tablets To Avert Cosmic Rays Is Fake

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A post — quoting NASA and claiming that cosmic rays will pass close to Earth due to which planet Earth will emit very high radiation — is doing the rounds on social media, advising people to turn off their phone, mobiles, tablets etc., as the radiation would be very harmful for the body.

A Facebook user shared this post and wrote: “वायरल मैसेज में दावा किया जा रहा है कि ‘आज रात 12.30 से 3.30 बजे के बीच मंगल ग्रह से खतरनाक कॉस्मिक-रे निकलकर पृथ्वी से होकर गुजरेंगी। कृपया आप अपने-अपने मोबाइल फोन स्विच ऑफ करके रखें। फोन को अपने पास रखकर बिल्कुल न सोएं। नहीं तो आपको नुकसान पहुंचा सकती हैं। कृपया इस मैसेज को नजरअंदाज न करें। अगर आपको भरोसा न हो तो आप गूगल पर “नासा बीबीसी न्यूज” सर्च कर डिटेल न्यूज देख सकते हैं। कृपया इस मैसेज को और लोगों तक पहुचाने की कृपा करें। इसी से जुड़े एक दूसरे मैसेज में रात 12:30 से 3:30 बजे के बीच मोबाइल ऑन रखने से फोन में नेटवर्क टाॅवर के जरिए ये खतरनाक किरणें आने और उससे तुरंत फोन ब्लास्ट होने की बात कही जा रही है.” [Englsih translation: It is being claimed in the viral message that ‘tonight between 12.30 and 3.30, dangerous cosmic rays will pass through the Earth from Mars. Please keep your mobile phones switched off. Never sleep with your phone close to you. Otherwise, it can harm you. Please don’t ignore this message. If you don’t believe it, you can see the detailed news by searching “NASA BBC News” on Google. Please be kind to spread this message to more people. In another message related to this, keeping the mobile on between 12:30 to 3:30 in the night, it is said that these dangerous rays will come in the phone through the network tower and the phone will be blasted immediately.]

This post can be seen here.
The same post has been viral in English as well.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the above post, and found it to be misleading.
Our NM team found that similar viral posts have been resurfacing on Internet since 2017. The latest viral post was from July 2023. Even with many keyword searches, we failed to find any media report corroborating the viral claim. The post gives credit to Singapore TV; but upon searching, we could not find any such channel.
Even the NASA’s website has not carried any such information related to switching off mobiles between 12:30 am to 3:30 am.
NASA also explains that cosmic rays are actually highly energetic atomic nuclear particles travelling through space at a speed of light. Earth continuously comes in contact with cosmic rays, but magnetic fields of the atmosphere and the Earth mostly reflect them back to space.
Image Credit: NASA
These rays, which are emitted from the sun or cosmic events outside our solar system such as black holes or a supernova, can affect electronic devices such as computer chips on satellites. However, this doesn’t mean the rays will affect our bodies in the same way.
So, it can be concluded that there was no such alert raised by NASA in past years. And, the magnetic fields of the atmosphere don’t allow cosmic rays to enter our ecosphere and act as protective armour.

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