(meteorobs) Cosmic rays on all-sky cams?

Chris Peterson clp at alumni.caltech.edu
Tue Aug 23 16:29:24 EDT 2011


I've never seen anything on any of my allsky cameras that I was certain 
was a cosmic ray strike. (BTW, cosmic rays themselves don't normally hit 
CCDs; what happens is that a cosmic ray either strikes a molecule in the 
atmosphere, or one in your camera or telescope structure, which produces 
a secondary spray of particles. These are what normally produce cosmic 
ray artifacts on CCD sensors.) I do see cosmic ray artifacts all the 
time on my regular long-exposure CCD images, and I see the gradual pixel 
degradation that Sony HAD sensors experience over time as the result of 
cosmic rays. So I know they are hitting. The most common unexplained 
phenomenon I record is a single saturated pixel. That is consistent with 
a head-on particle strike, but I doubt that's the cause, since I've 
never recorded the sort of ragged multiple pixel artifact that is more 
typical of cosmic ray hits.

My assumption as to the reason I never see any cosmic rays is that the 
detection scheme used by Metrec (which runs on all my cameras) is simply 
not sensitive to the sort of single frame "flash" that a cosmic ray will 


Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory

On 8/23/2011 9:47 AM, Thomas Ashcraft wrote:
> I am wondering if anyone has any video specimens of a cosmic ray capture
> on an all-sky camera.
> I have never looked into cosmic rays but I hear they show up sometimes
> on meteor camera sensors.
> Thanks for any info on this.
> Thomas Ashcraft in New Mexico

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