Magnitude Limits

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William Stewart

Hi James,

Using a Watec 902H (the earlier, lower sensitivity model of Nick’s camera) in conjunction with a 8mm f0.8 lens it’s possible to obtain a stellar limiting magnitude of better than +5.5 on a clear, moonless night at 25 frames per second. Meteor detection is determined by a number of factors not least of which is the apparant brightness of the meteor. In addition however, the UFO Capture software has a number of configurable “trigger” settings which determine the circumstances under which a recording will be made.

These trigger values can be set to a high sensitivity whereby the slightlest movement within the FOV will trigger a recording. This is great for fainter meteors but the downside is that it also results in many false captures (due to birds, bats, insects, falling leaves, aircraft, satellites etc, etc). Lowering trigger sensitivity reduces the the number of false captures but also reduces the number of faint meteors recorded.

My system has what I regard to be quite sensitive trigger values and records meteors down to 3rd magnitude.

Further details of our systems and links to our papers (which go into even more detail) are available on the NEMETODE website.

Best regards