MeteorCam: About, Image Use and Website Use Policy.

 

The MeteorCam

The MeteorCam

About The Camera:

The MeteorCam is a roof mounted, low light Samsung SHC-745 camera located in a rural area east of Greenbrier, AR.

The MeteorCam is attached to a mast and is mounted in a homemade PVC pipe with an acrylic dome housing to protect it from the elements.  

cam2

The Camera’s View:
The camera points just north of west, primarily to watch incoming weather systems.  For meteor detection it doesn’t typically matter the direction the camera is pointed.  The camera has a fisheye lens on it, giving it a 180 deg. field of view.  A labeled image from the camera (left) and panoramic image (below) will help you understand what the camera is seeing.  Click for larger images.

camview

MeteorCam Motion Images:
Whenever motion is detected by the camera (i.e meteor, lightning, aircraft, or even a passing car) a video clip of the motion is recorded and an image is produced from that clip. 

MeteorCam Meteor & Interesting Images:
Afterwards, we sift through the captured clips to pull out the meteors and interesting events (usually the following morning) and upload those images to the website. The primary purpose of the camera is to record and document astronomical and meteorological events.

Live Sky View:
We use the AllSkyCam Uploader to upload the ‘live’ sky animations from the cameras.

Software:
UFOCapture is used for the motion detection on the MeteorCam.  We use a proprietary software package, Meteor Uploader, which we produced  ourselves to sort through the captured motion images, upload the meteor and interesting images, and to generate the meteor detection chart.

Image & Video Use Policy:
The images and videos captured by the MeteorCam are copyright AstroScan Observatory, however, they may be freely used for educational purposes and by media outlets for general interest news stories provided credit is given to AstroScan Observatory.  Meteor and Lightning / Storm video can be made available upon request.  Other Commercial interest should contact us for use.  Raw stock storm / lightning and meteor (shooting star) videos are available for purchase for commercial use.

Contact us at: observatory(at)arkansassky.com – replacing “(at)” with @


Nightly Meteor Detections over the Past 30 Days

How to read the chart:

Date: The bottom row of numbers is the day of the month.  The oldest date will be at the left and today (or the most current date) will be at the right.   The first day of the month will also include the month, such as “8/1” for August 1st.

Meteor Count: The top row of numbers is the meteor count, or how many meteors were detected on that day.  For example, if it says there were 5 meteors on the 17th, it means there were 5 meteors detected overnight on the night of the 16th through the morning of the 17th.

Chart Title: The chart title includes the chart’s creation date and the total number of meteors detected in the past 30 days.

Things that influence the meteor count:

Moon Phase:  The moon phase is depicted on the chart as the diagonal bars that step up and to the right.  When the bars are on the bottom of the chart, that is the moon in the evening hours.  On the night of the Full Moon the bar is at its’ brightest and goes from top to bottom.  As the moon moves into the morning hours (last quarter phase), the bars move toward the top.  The transparency of the white bars (near 100% or invisible at new down to 50% at Full) is used to indicated how much the glow of the moon dims the stars and makes it more difficult to see fainter meteors.  Since meteors are most likely in the early morning hours, the moon’s influence on the count will be at its highest from Full Moon through Last Quarter.

Clouds: It is impossible to see meteors through heavy clouds.  Each night we make an estimation of how much the clouds covered the sky overnight, based on what the camera saw through the night. 100% means it was clear all night.  0% means it was cloudy all night.  50% could indicate there was 50% coverage throughout the night or that it was clear the first half of the night and cloudy the second half.  The washing out of the sky caused by the clouds is the gray bar that goes from top to bottom.  The transparency (or invisibility) of the bar is set by sky conditions.  100%, clear night, the bar is invisible and you can see the stars.  0%, cloudy, the bar is visible with nothing being seen through it.

No Data: If no data is collected on a certain date, possibly for maintenance issues, a green bar will appear for that date.