7 February 2016 at 2:04 am #573529Eric WatkinsParticipant
Whilst checking for the current state of the sky using all sky cameras at various observatory sites of LCOGT observatories. I noticed how good some of these images are. The exposure times for individual frames are 30 sec and run throughout the night and show good detail. Could there be away of utilising such images to detect bright fireballs/meteors? The images would seem to be stored as it is possible to view the previous 24hrs as a show. Other observatories may use similar procedeurs.
I would imagine the observatories would be willing to make available the image data. However, I would not like to sit and watch through the images for even one night let. Possibly those far more able than myself could device software to read the images with set parameters to detect something unusual?
Eric8 February 2016 at 8:23 pm #577246Jeremy ShearsParticipant
I have not looked at those all sky images, but they sound intriguing.
I am sure they would show meteors and perhaps the occasional fireball. The really interesting part of imaging meteors/fireballs is to obtain an orbit for the object and, ultimately, to identify the parent body. However, to do this one needs data from (at least) 2 sites a few 10s of km apart, to allow triangulation. Also needed is good time resolution during the passage of the object to obtain the velocity of the object.
Jeremy9 February 2016 at 2:15 pm #577251Eric WatkinsParticipant
Ahh yes of course. Just a thought that came to me without thinking it through.
Cheers Eric12 February 2016 at 2:12 am #577253Dominic FordKeymaster
I did at one point briefly consider using an SBIG AllSky-340 camera for my own meteor camera work (instead of a Watec 902H2 Ultimate).
Unfortunately there were lots of reasons why it didn’t really seem to fit the bill. Even though you can set custom exposure lengths, it communicates with the PC via a slow serial link, making quick exposures almost impossible. By contrast, the Watec camera delivers 25 frames per second. As Jeremy says, you really need that many frames to catch fast meteors.
The other issue is that having bright lights in the field of view is a real nuisance. You get blooming and internal reflections. The slightest muck on your glass gets illuminated. A limited field of view actually helps keep unwanted light out — the metal CCTV housing acts as a lens hood.
It was a real shame, because I wanted an excuse to buy an AllSky-340 to play with 😉
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