Pixel Defects Caused by Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays are extreme high energy particles oming from the background universe and/or the sun, typically an atomic nuclei traveling near the speed of light. They might be one reason that cancers are more common among airline pilots.
Cosmic rays attract great interest practically, due to the damage they inflict on microelectronics and life outside the protection of an atmosphere and magnetic field, and scientifically, because the energies of the most energetic ultra-high-energy cosmic rays have been observed to approach 3 × 1020 eV. This is slightly greater than 21 million times the design energy of particles accelerated by the Large Hadron Collider...
Then there are anti-matter (anti-proton) cosmic rays, right out of Star Trek warp engines, and they are nasty:
Cosmic ray antiprotons also have a much higher average energy than their normal-matter counterparts (protons). They arrive at Earth with a characteristic energy maximum of 2 GeV...
Cosmic rays kill pixels on digital sensors, and flip bits in computer memory, etc.
Most people only half believe me when I mention it in regards to digital cameras, but here it is on page 10 of the user manual for the Leica M11 Monochrom:
• Cosmic radiation (e.g. during flights) may cause pixel defects.
Or with a lot of time spent at high altitude, eg my travels.
In spite of this, the M11M does not seem to have a “pixel mapping” feature, as does the Sony A7R V and many other cameras. Unless I missed it in the user manual.
Much thanks to B&H Photo for the loaner, and thanks for using links on this site to buy at B&H Photo, Leica or otherwise, photo or computer or other gear.