Balloon-borne meteor video observations

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    Jeremy Shears

    There is a paper on arXiv today “Balloon-borne video observations of Geminids 2016” that got me thinking.

    BAA members have been pioneers in many technical fields of meteor observation including video obs of meteors, spectroscopy and radio detection. I wonder which enterprising BAA member will be the first to put their video camera on a balloon. Certainly a good way of getting above this seemingly constant cloud that has obscured the alpha Monocerotids and other showers from me in recent weeks…..

    Alex Pratt

    Hi Jeremy,

    I have seen some videos from balloon-borne meteor cameras – perhaps not from this group – and the mount wasn’t stabilised, so it spun around at a considerable rate, making the viewer (and analyst) feel seasick.   🙁   It’s certainly one way to get above this interminable cloud and rain.

    Perhaps I could collect some Christmas Party helium balloons and attached a video camera…

    Clear (and dry) skies,


    Bill Ward

    Ahhhh the road to hell is paved with good intentions….

    Well almost, must be 12 years ago I had the balloon, the helium and the instrument…

    I must confess not for meteors though, part of a student project that both literally and metaphorically never got off the ground! Could never get the remote control and radio data link to work properly. It was going to be looking at cosmic rays but I thought it would be a great idea to fly it at night with a camera just out of curiosity. Bounced due to health and safety concerns… ; – (

    …and the nice big meteorological balloon perished without ever being inflated…

    Somebody will do it with a Pi and an IMX camera!

    Nick James

    That sounds like a fun thing to do although recovering your expensive kit might be challenging. There are rules about launching high altitude met balloons in the UK and a useful FAQ here in case anyone wants to have a go.

    Robin Leadbeater

    A few years back it seemed every sixth former was launching cameras into the stratosphere. I know our local school did and they came along to our society to talk about it. I remember Julian Wessel did a nice night flight a couple of years ago, though there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of the further promised flights around

    He did have the advantage of the whole of continental Europe to land in and decent roads to make a fast rendezvous !


    Mr Leonard Entwisle

    Thanks for that link Robin. There is more on Julian Wessels  astro ballooning here . Pi and IMX camera (as commented by Bill Ward) sounds better to a tight Yorkshire lad than committing a Sony Alpha 7 to a flight .

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