If a solar flare occurred during a lunar mission (bearing in mind that in routine one-week lunar missions the astronauts are protected from solar radiation by Earth's magnetotail) would the magnetotail be enough to protect them from the high-energy protons (the most dangerous output of solar flares) during a moonwalk during full moon, to the point the moonwalk is safe for their health?


The moon spends about six days each month inside Earth's magnetic tail, or "magnetotail." The Moon and the Magnetotail (https://www.nasa.gov/topics/moonmars/features/magnetotail_080416.html)

The lunar nearside spends ~27% of its daytime in Earth’s magnetotail where the solar wind flux is reduced by as much as ~99% Formation of lunar surface water associated with high-energy electrons in Earth’s magnetotail - Nature Astronomy (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-023-02081-y)

The most dangerous emissions from flares are energetic charged particles (primarily high-energy protons) and electromagnetic radiation (primarily x-rays).https://hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/sftheory/spaceweather.htm

image source https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-023-02081-y

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    $\begingroup$ Not sure about the answer here but I'm just going to point out that a geomagnetic storm (such as from a CME) can significantly compress the magnetosphere and alter the geometry of the tail. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2023 at 20:05


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