posted on Aug, 21 2012 @ 05:32 PM
Originally posted by Thunda
reply to post by FireballStorm
Would a cosmic ray be in the visible spectrum of light? It would explain the extremely short duration (Which rules out 'contrails!!!!).
If I'm not mistaken, cosmic rays are outside the visible spectrum, at the smaller wavelength end of the spectrum, and therefore much more energetic
than visible wavelengths.
So when they hit an atom (which doesn't necessarily have to be part of the sensor), a shower of less energetic particles is produced, some of which
can be photons in the visible spectrum, which may in turn hit the sensor.
A direct hit on the sensor from a cosmic ray, even though not in the visible range can also produce an imaging artifact though, since a sensor
pixel/pixels are effectively turned on when they are "charged".
A cosmic ray can charge a pixel/pixels in the same way that photons hitting the sensor register as light. The charged state of the sensor pixel is how
a digital sensor registers which pixels have had photons hitting them, and when a camera reads which pixels are charged, and which are not, it uses
this information to build up an image that we can see.
Here's another explanation of how CCD sensors
work, that you might find a bit easier to