Rising fluxes of cosmic rays inside the solar system

dennis

Jedi Master
The word sculptor comes from Latin sculpere, related to scalpere, to cut, from the Indo-European root *skel-¹ ‘To cut’. Derivatives: shell, scagliola (plasterwork in imitation of ornamental marble), shale, scale¹, scall, scalp, scale³ (weighing scales), skoal (drinking vessel made from a shell), shield (a generic word covering all defensive weapons), shelter, skill, sheldrake, school² (of fish), shoal², coulter, cultrate, cutlass, scalene (having three unequal sides, used of triangles, from Greek skallein, to stir up, hoe > skalenos, uneven), shelf, half, halve, scalpel, sculpture, (these words from Latin scalpere, to cut, scrape, to carve). [Pokorny 1. (s)kel- 923. Watkins] Also scallops, the shell, which is a bivalve, or two half shells.
...
In Greek mythology Aphrodite (Venus) rose from the foam of the sea and was carried by a Scallop shell first to the island of Cythera and then all the way to Cyprus. The names of other shells are sometimes given, but Aphrodite is far more often portrayed in sculpture and paintings on a scallop shell. Scallops are the only seashells that travel the oceans. Scallop shells were the badge of pilgrims and served both as a symbol of the pilgrimage and were used as drinking cups, spoons, and dishes.


There are two cultural references, a famous renaissance painting titled "The Birth of Venus" by Alessandro Botticelli and a sci-fi book related to Kurt Vonnegut.


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Venus on the Half-Shell is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip José Farmer, writing pseudonymously as "Kilgore Trout", a fictional recurring character in many of the novels of Kurt Vonnegut.
...
Farmer's story was first published in two parts beginning in the December 1974 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The plot, in which Earth is destroyed by cosmic bureaucrats doing routine maintenance and the sole human survivor goes on a quest to find the "Definitive Answer to the Ultimate Question", was an inspiration for the plot of the later Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

 

dennis

Jedi Master

Do we live in a computer simulation run by our descendants? Researchers say idea can be tested​

A decade ago, a British philosopher put forth the notion that the universe we live in might in fact be a computer simulation run by our descendants. While that seems far-fetched, perhaps even incomprehensible, a team of physicists at the University of Washington has come up with a potential test to see if the idea holds water.
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In a paper they have posted on arXiv, an online archive for preprints of scientific papers in a number of fields, including physics, they say that the highest-energy cosmic rays would not travel along the edges of the lattice in the model but would travel diagonally, and they would not interact equally in all directions as they otherwise would be expected to do.

"This is the first testable signature of such an idea," Savage said.


Observable consequences of the hypothesis that the observed universe is a numerical simulation performed on a cubic space-time lattice or grid are explored. The simulation scenario is first motivated by extrapolating current trends in computational resource requirements for lattice QCD into the future. Using the historical development of lattice gauge theory technology as a guide, we assume that our universe is an early numerical simulation with unimproved Wilson fermion discretization and investigate potentially-observable consequences. Among the observables that are considered are the muon g − 2 and the current differences between determinations of α, but the most stringent bound on the inverse lattice spacing of the universe, b−1>∼ 1011 GeV, is derived from the high-energy cut off of the cosmic ray spectrum. The numerical simulation scenario could reveal itself in the distributions of the highest energy cosmic rays exhibiting a degree of rotational symmetry breaking that reflects the structure of the underlying lattice.
 

dennis

Jedi Master
Measurements by ESA's long-serving twin missions, Mars Express and Venus Express, have captured the dance between the intensity of high-energy cosmic rays and the influence of the sun's activity across our inner solar system.
A comparison of data from the ASPERA plasma sensor, an instrument carried by both spacecraft, with the number of sunspots visible on the surface of the sun shows how cosmic ray counts are suppressed during peaks of activity in the 11-year solar cycle. The international study, led by Dr. Yoshifumi Futaana of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, has been published today in the The Astrophysical Journal.
...
All the datasets showed a decrease in the number of cosmic ray detections as the peak in activity for Solar Cycle 24 was reached. In particular, the Mars Express data and the observations from Earth showed very similar features. However, there was an apparent lag of around nine months between the maximum number of sunspots and the minimum in cosmic ray detections at Mars.
As well as the decadal-long relationship with the solar cycle, the researchers also looked at how cosmic ray detections varied over the short timescales of an orbit. Surprisingly, they found that the area protected from cosmic rays behind Mars is more than 100 kilometers wider than the planet's actual radius. The cause of why this blocked area should be so large is not yet clear.

the study mentioned is here

 

zak

The Living Force
There are a few threads on the Carrington Event, but on the Miyake event, also known as the 774–775 carbon-14 spike and the Charlemagne event, I haven't found much except (https://cassiopaea.org/forum/threads/the-ice-age-cometh-forget-global-warming.38/page-131#post-976167), so here is the description:
Something happened back in 774 or 775 AD that caused a sudden surge in the amount of radioactive carbon-14 around the world. Measurements of tree rings show that the concentration of C-14 shot up by 1.2 percent. That’s the largest and most rapid rise in C-14 ever recorded and about 20 times higher than the normal background rate of variation.

Let's knock on wood and see this event from an arboricultural point of view, or more precisely:

Miyake Events from a dendrochronological point of view​

Abstract

Cosmic abrupt radionuclide enrichment events provide a new exciting possibility for the exact dating and synchronization of organic samples or annually resolved sequences of organic samples using 14C measurement. Ice cores can be synchronized to the same events using 10Be measurement instead. The two globally assured events in 775 and 994 have already proved the worth of this concept. We propose that a third event has been spotted between -2467 and -2465 in bristlecone pine, perhaps together with another event ten years later between -2457 and -2455. By detecting that double-event in wood from the Belfast Long chronology it would be possible to once and for all time determine a definitive date for this European key oak chronology. We also propose that Belfast Long has to be dated eight years earlier than conventionally assumed. This small offset would have far-reaching consequences for the internal linkage of the entire Belfast chronology, and moderate consequences for the radiocarbon calibration curve.

Discussion and Conclusions

(...)

Based on research conducted in Japan and Arizona, we propose that a third Miyake Event has been spotted between -2467 and -2465 in bristlecone pine, perhaps together with another event ten years later between -2457 and -2455. These two events are of about the same size as the event in 994. It should be straight forward to confirm the double-event in an independent absolute pine tree-ring chronology e.g. from Scandinavia.

However, by detecting that double-event in wood from the Belfast Long chronology it would be possible to once and for all time determine a definitive end date for this European key oak chronology. If our hypothesis is correct and Belfast Long has to be dated eight years earlier than conventionally assumed, this would have consequences for the internal linkage of the Belfast chronology and for the radiocarbon calibration curve.
Our hypothesis about the eight years too young conventional date of Belfast Long is based on multiple threads of evidence. That the conventional date is near absolute but perhaps a little bit too late can be concluded from revisiting the precursory Suess radiocarbon calibration curve. The direct crossdating of Belfast Long towards Scandinavian pine points out a possible synchronous position eight years earlier than assumed. A prominent narrow ring event in the last half of the 17th century BC seems to confirm this offset between oak and pine chronologies. Detection of the Miyake double-event in Irish oak eight years later than in bristlecone or Scandinavian pine would be the final proof.
This small offset would have far-reaching consequences for the internal linkage of the Belfast chronology, it would in fact render it invalid as we have shown above. This in turn would have a domino effect on all other European oak chronologies which are synchronuos with the Belfast chronology. This small offset would efficiently break up consensus and finally initiate the overdue discussion of alternative dating solutions within the European oak complex.
The effect of this small offset on the radiocarbon calibration curve however is comparatively moderate. The dendrochronological time scale of the curve would suffer an eight years correction towards older times in the second to sixth millennia BC. This would require an eight years correction of all dates of archaeological material derived from radiocarbon measurement, no big deal. However, in a few cases these eight years could be decisive as we have discussed in the case of the Mesopotamian chronology.
The spotting of a Miyake Event in the third millennium BC opens up for a soon independent assessment of the correctness of the European oak chronologies. Simply, somebody has to determine where the new Miyake double-event appears in samples of the Belfast Long chronology. This would immediately verify or falsify our hypothesis about errors in the European oak complex. Another Miyake Event in tWe have done what was possible with the limited resources we have at our disposal. We will not be able to push this case further by performing the necessary radiocarbon measurements, somebody else has to do that. But do scientists really want to know the truth and will they make the risky test which either overturns our hypothesis (fine!) or definitely starts a process with unforeseen consequences? The elephant which we placed in the middle of the room some years ago has been totally ignored so far. Nobody has joined an open discussion, even less tried to rebut or confirm our hypothesis which is certainly not peer-reviewed but anyway published and citable. So, who dares to break the deadlock and takes the first step over the red line?he first millennium BC, still to be discovered, would be enough to quantify even the problematic dating of Roman time.

If this has motivated you to read the rest of the research here is THE LINK to scroll down a bit to access the full text.

And while I'm at it, here's an article and the more complete research:
(It is better to read it at the source with nice pictures...)
By Genelle Weule
Posted Wed 26 Oct 2022 at 1:01amWednesday 26 Oct 2022 at 1:01am, updated Wed 26 Oct 2022 at 1:09am

The most intense solar storm in recorded history, known as the Carrington event, damaged nascent power and communication networks in the Victorian era.

But Earth has been hit by radiation levels that were up to 100 times greater than this, according to a new study of spikes in radiocarbon stored in tree rings.

The prevailing hypothesis has been that these spikes, known as Miyake events — after the Japanese scientist that first discovered them — were caused by solar storms.

"There are six known [Miyake] events spanning nearly 10,000 years," said astrophysicist Benjamin Pope of the University of Queensland.

The most recent spikes occurred in 774 AD and 993 AD during the early Medieval period.

But new research by Dr Pope and colleagues, published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences, reveals that the origin of these extreme bursts of radiation appears to be more complex.

"There's a kind of extreme astrophysical phenomenon that we don't understand and it actually could be a threat to us," Dr Pope said.

While a radiation event of this scale wouldn't directly harm us, it could knock out everything we rely on in our modern world — not just for days, but months or longer.

Space weather written in wood
Many species of trees, especially those in temperate climates, lay down a new ring each year that reads like a barcode of its age.

These markers of time also help scientists pin down when the tree absorbed radioactive carbon-14, produced by the interaction of high energy particles, caused by cosmic rays and solar storms interacting with the atmosphere.

Radiation coming from the Sun can vary throughout the solar cycle, but strong solar storms are four times more likely to occur every 11 years when sunspot activity peaks.

Dr Pope wanted to analyse all the studies of tree rings to find out how strong the Miyake events were, and when they occurred in the solar cycle.

He asked his undergraduate students, led by Qingyuan Zhang, to develop a program to crunch all the data ever published on the events and model how carbon had been locked up in tree rings as it cycled through Earth's biosphere for the past 10,000 years.

"We just thought it would be very interesting if we can confirm any of the existing hypotheses [about the origin of Miyake events], or just maybe challenge some of them," Mr Zhang said.

Data from the study showed that these mysterious radiation storms occurred roughly once in 1,000 years and happened right across the solar cycle, not just solar maximum.

Many of the spikes lasted longer than normal solar storms. At least one event in 663 BC lasted up to three years, and another in 5480 BC built up across a decade.

"At least two, maybe three of these events ... took longer than a year, which is surprising because that's not going to happen if it's a solar flare," Dr Pope said.

Solar flares are also accompanied by aurora at the poles and sometimes, if they are strong enough, at mid-latitudes.
Yet, despite the length and intensity of some of these events, there is scant evidence of anything out of the ordinary in historical texts around the time of the Miyake events, apart from a brief mention of a "red crucifix" in the summer of 774 AD in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles, and an aurora documented in 775 AD in the Chinese chronicle Jiutangshu.

We thought we were going to have a big slam dunk where we could prove that [Miyake events were caused by] the Sun," Dr Pope said.

"This is the most comprehensive study ever made of these events and the big result is a big shrug; we don't know what's going on."

Unusual radiation spikes are not just seen in tree rings; they also appear in ice core data, says physicist Andrew Smith, who is working on separate research at ANSTO.

Dr Smith is studying fluctuations in beryllium-10 and chlorine-36 isotopes in cores from Antarctica that overlap with the 774 and 993 Miyake, and 1859 Carrington events.

The Earth is constantly bombarded by high-energy cosmic rays that produce these isotopes along with radiocarbon-14, but lower-energy particles from the Sun also produce these isotopes during solar storms.

While all the data is yet to be analysed, Dr Smith said the beryllium recorded in ice cores appeared to mirror the tree ring data for 993 and 774.

"There is the strong suggestion in [the beryllium data] that the 993 event was multiple events, not a single event, whereas the 774 event appeared to be more constrained in time," Dr Smith said.

So what could be happening?
Over the years scientists have debated a number of sources for these mysterious events.

Along with solar storms, other galactic phenomena including gamma-ray bursts, supernova explosions and blasts from nearby neutron stars have been put forward as options.

While Dr Pope said no evidence of these other galactic phenomena had been detected nearby, they couldn't be conclusively ruled out.

And if the phenomenon behind Miyake events comes from left field, we have no way of predicting them.

"It's really important that we resolve this question because the Carrington Event was 100 times smaller in terms of radiation output than these Miyake events," Dr Pope said.

The high spikes in the data could simply be from aspects of plant physiology or the carbon cycle we don't understand.

But Dr Pope's best guess is that the longer duration spikes may come from a series of outbursts from the Sun.

"Not just one solar flare, but recurrent solar flares going off again and again."

Solar physicist Hannah Schunker of the University of Newcastle said this scenario was highly plausible.

"We have absolutely no idea how to predict when or where an explosion will occur," said Dr Schunker, who was not involved in the study.

"There's no reason why we couldn't have many complex magnetic regions close by and they all flare one after the other."

Dr Schunker said it was also possible that shorter events could be caused by solar storms and longer ones could be caused by other galactic phenomena, depending upon when in the solar cycle the spike happened.

"When the Sun is quieter [towards solar minimum], there is less magnetic field in the heliosphere to protect the Earth from external sources," Dr Schunker said.

"But when the magnetic field has higher magnetic activity [towards solar maximum]. it's a lot more likely to produce stronger flares."

ANSTO's Dr Smith said he was not surprised there was no obvious relationship with the solar cycle because solar storms can happen anytime.

But, he said, future analysis of the chlorine isotope, which is produced in higher quantities than beryllium in solar events, may shed more light on Miyake events.

"We do need to really understand the severity of these events," Dr Smith said.

"If we had an event like that, even on the short scale … we'd be thrown into chaos."
Key points:
_Earth has been hit by at least six extreme radiation events over the past 10,000 years, according to data in tree rings
_These events, known as Miyake events, were thought to be caused by solar storms
_But the most comprehensive study to date suggests not all these extreme events fit the picture and may be caused by unknown solar or galactic phenomena

Modelling cosmic radiation events in the tree-ring radiocarbon record

Abstract​

Annually resolved measurements of the radiocarbon content in tree-rings have revealed rare sharp rises in carbon-14 production. These ‘Miyake events’ are likely produced by rare increases in cosmic radiation from the Sun or other energetic astrophysical sources. The radiocarbon produced is not only circulated through the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, but also absorbed by the biosphere and locked in the annual growth rings of trees. To interpret high-resolution tree-ring radiocarbon measurements therefore necessitates modelling the entire global carbon cycle. Here, we introduce ‘ticktack’ (GitHub - SharmaLlama/ticktack: An open-source carbon box model implementation built on JAX.), the first open-source Python package that connects box models of the carbon cycle with modern Bayesian inference tools. We use this to analyse all public annual  14C
tree data, and infer posterior parameters for all six known Miyake events. They do not show a consistent relationship to the solar cycle, and several display extended durations that challenge either astrophysical or geophysical models.
 

zak

The Living Force
I will complement my previous post on the Miyake event, with a projection if this event were to happen (again).
The video is in Spanish, and it is possible to activate the subtitles corresponding to your language.
The natural phenomenon that will take us back to the Middle Ages

72 hours. That is how long it would take for the mother of all solar storms to wipe out human civilisation. A natural phenomenon that, according to all experts, is inevitable. What we discovered during a three-month investigation was as surprising as it was devastating. Fortunately, according to the scientists and engineers we consulted, humanity can take concrete steps to avoid the effects of this unavoidable cosmic force. We tell you about it in the first episode of the documentary series Control Z: The Great Storm, a future we can undo.
...Or just experience it.
 

XPan

The Living Force
Speaking of Solar Gamma radiation

a little spin-off note: There was/is a drama tv-series going on which circles around the subject “the sun giving off lethal amounts of gamma radiation”. Earth people die around the world, as soon they face the sun’s rays. A bunch of people take off in an airplane from Bruxelles airport flying towards the west in order to avoid the sun. Scotland, Iceland, Canada, Hawaii, etc. while also going from one drama into the next. Quite interesting made.

It is a french spoken Belgium production “Into the Night” with two seasons (french and dubbed plus many languages as subtitles). Curiously there is another one; a Turkish production called “Yakamoz S-245” Playing out in Turkey on the very same solar events - but on a submarine.

Both series meet in the last episode of the turkisk production, in Svalbard, Norway, at the world Seed Vault. (No clue if the series will continue - but the end is very much left open for another adventure for sure)

It is of course all over dramatized in the typical wonky spirit of Netflix conveying murky underpinnings as usual (survival, cataclysm, etc)
 

XPan

The Living Force
Planetary defense radar system prototype captures detailed images of the moon
26 Jan 2023

I am not quite sure where to place this article. It could fit in here, alternative in a thread about meteors, since this technology also is used for the purpose (officially).

In an article published at the photo news site, dPreview, wrote about a prototype of defense radar which is earth bound, producing the highest resolution moon images ever created, using less power than a microwave.


Partial-Tycho-Crater.jpg
Scientists at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia have used a transmitter with 'less power than a microwave' to produce the highest resolution images of the moon ever captured from Earth.

Using the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), the team captured high-resolution radar images of the moon, laying the foundation for a next-generation radar system that will allow scientists to study planets, moons and asteroids throughout the solar system. The prototype of the new system, which was used to capture the images, is part of a joint effort by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), Green Bank Observatory (GBO) and Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RIS). The group is designing a new radar system for the GBT, the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope.

credit-Jay-Young.jpg

The team used a low-power radar transmitter designed by RIS with the GBT. The radar transmitter delivers up to 700 watts of output power at 13.9 GHz. The transmitter sent radar waves to the moon's surface, and the echoes were received by the NRAO's ten 25m VLBA antennas. The resulting image shows the Tycho crater on the lunar surface with an impressive 5m resolution.

'It's pretty amazing what we've been able to capture so far, using less power than a common household appliance,' said Patrick Taylor, radar division head for GBO and NRAO.

Tycho-crater-credit-RIS.jpg
'A Synthetic Aperture Radar image of the Moon’s Tycho Crater, showing 5-meter resolution detail.' Image credit: Raytheon Technologies.
The flagship system in the works will be much more powerful, with a 500 kilowatt, Ku-band (13.7 GHz) radar system. It will use the existing VLBA array and a future Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) as its receivers. The proposed high-power system will offer 'nearly 1,000 times the output power and several times the waveform bandwidth (up to 600 MHz),' delivering even better resolving performance.
The system will do much more than allow scientists to image and study different celestial bodies, it will also be a critical part of a planetary defense system. The radar system will be able to detect, track and characterize objects that may threaten Earth. During testing, Taylor said the team located a km-sized asteroid more than 2M km from Earth. An asteroid of that size could devastate the planet. The next-generation radar system could detect objects smaller and further away, potentially providing critical information to support NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.
Concerning astronomy, the GBT's enhanced radar system will deliver data at higher resolutions and wavelengths than were previously impossible. Between those impressive capabilities and the ability to help defend Earth against potential threats, the next-generation radar system promises to enhance planetary science and planetary defense alike.

Short video, 30 sec.
How ngRadar can map asteroids
 

XPan

The Living Force
How astrophotographer Bray Falls helped to confirm the discovery of the Andromeda Oxygen Arc
19 Jan 2023

Another article published at the photonews site dPreview, highlighting the discovery of the Andromeda Galaxy Oxygen Arc. Frankly spoken, I find it pretty amazing that this Oxygen Arc remained hidden for so long, given how many times this galaxy has been photographed... ! Pretty fascinating how the final image turned out after 180 hours of exposure time (in total).

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On his instagram page the photographer had a short video there, explaining more about the Andromeda Galazy its Oxygen Arc. (I didn't know how to embed the link here... oh wait, it did work. Tadaaaa!). Anyway; he says the arc measured several diameters of the moon, and that image above took 180 hours of exposure.




The Andromeda galaxy is approximately 2.5 million light years from Earth and for the past 134 years, it has been the one of the most-observed galaxies by astronomers. This is why it's surprising that a recent oxygen nebula was uncovered by amateur astronomers Marcel Drechsler and Xavier Strottner – an arc almost as large as the galaxy itself, that hadn't been discovered until now.

To verify their claim, the duo enlisted French amateur astronomer Yann Sainty to help out. United States-based amateur astronomer Bray Falls was brought in to help verify as well. Together, Sainty and Falls put in roughly 110 hours, each, tirelessly taking images of the arc and stacking them to get a clearer picture of what they were observing.

It seems baffling that a new discovery of this magnitude took over a century. However in the video above, narrated by Falls, he explains why, regardless of all eyes on it over the decades – starting with Isaac Roberts in 1888 – it may have been overlooked until now. First and foremost, astronomers simply don't point their telescopes at the sky and hope for the best.

Screenshot_2023-01-17_at_11.44.04_AM.jpg
You can't point a telescope at the sky and hope for the best, you'll also need specialized filters. Image credit: screenshot from Bray Falls' YouTube video

As Falls explains, the night sky consists of different types of gases and dusts. Astrophotographers use narrowband filters to observe the light from specific gasses. The main three gas emissions photographers want to pay attention to are Hydrogen Alpha, Oxygen III and Sulphur II. When an external force or something pressures these gasses, they start to glow in certain colors.

The most prevalent gas in the universe is hydrogen. The other two, oxygen and sulphur, are extremely faint. Those that take the proper steps to observe the faint ones are more likely to come across new nebula. Notably, the Oxygen III filter used, which brings out a light blue color from the ionized oxygen, provided the hint that there was something new out there.

Screenshot_2023-01-17_at_11.48.46_AM.jpg

This blue tone is vulnerable to the effects of light pollution and it is faint. It takes a lot of time, dedication and patience to capture it properly. Falls notes that most astrophotographers don't collect data or images using this filter. If you do have the time, there are many undiscovered objects hidden.

The more exposure you have on an object in the sky, the clearer it will show up in your imagery. Falls and Sainty took tons of images at 5 to 10-minute exposure times and combined them in post-processing software to reduce the noise. Overall, the final image is the result of 110 hours worth of captures.

'When it comes to discovering new nebulae, you can't just image in the target filter and call it a day. There are some special treatments you're going to have to do to your image that not a lot of people know about,' Falls explains. One involves capturing blue images for continuum subtraction.

Screenshot_2023-01-17_at_12-1.16.09_PM.jpg
Falls helped verify this oxygen arc, almost as large as the Andromeda galaxy. Image credit: Bray Falls


The how-to
Falls used his own Takahashi FSQ-106 telescope with a .73 reducer and a QHY600 CMOS camera. An F3.6 aperture and 400mm focal length gave him a (relatively) wide field-of-view (FOV) on the nebula at fast speeds. For those looking to get started, he recommends a wide FOV telescope, a lens with a focal length of 300–900mm, and a 3nm O-III filter. Finding an area with dark skies also helps.

What it comes down to is exposure time, along with the type of filter. Having that, along with patience, will yield the better results. I asked Bray what area of the sky should be focused on next and he emphasized it's not the sky, it's the filter.


Making a case for the neglected O-III filter in astrophotography
'A lot of astrophotographers use narrowband filters to shoot their images, and most prefer to focus on the Ha [Hydrogen Alpha] filter since it is bright and contains a lot of details. The O-iii filter which comes from oxygen gas is usually neglected, but as evidence by this discovery there are a lot of things to find with this filter. So more astrophotographers should be checking spots of the sky specifically with this kind of filter that not a lot of people use.'

A limited-edition print of the Andromeda with the oxygen arc can be purchased on Falls' site. Proceeds will support his future astrophotography endeavors.
 
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