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Meteor Photography

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Automated Meteor Photography

Combining my knowledge of Linux, hardware, and astronomy, I put together a meteor camera based on the Global Meteor Camera Network camera system [Construction details HERE]. 

The camera is a Sony IMX290 CMOS low light sensor that captures 30fps video all night long. The video feeds in real-time to a Raspberry Pi 4 computer which processes the images looking for any meteors (while trying to eliminate meteor-wrongs, i.e. birds, planes, insects...) then building FITS images and a mpeg4 timelapse. It also stacks all the meteors into a single frame. Statistics, timestamps, and graphs are also automatically created. 

All of the software was written by the Croatian Meteor group, so there was very little coding on my side needed to do all of this. 

Living in light polluted Orange Park, with trees surrounding me, I only have a 60-90 degree chunk of the Eastern sky available. No "All Sky" here. However, that's good as I catch more early morning meteors, as well as looking away from downtown Jax. 

Its been running now for nearly a year (wow, time flies!), with only a few downtimes (storms!).  

Be sure to click the links above to learn more. They do offer pre-built versions every so often, if you have more cash!

(The imager sensor + lens is the expensive part at ~$275+) 

Russell Grokett WA4EFH


Fig 1. Camera mounted above home

Fig. 2 Bolide during Perseids 

Fig. 3 "Stack" of all Perseids for one night

Fig. 4 Parts used for the camera.

Fig. 5. Link to Perseid Meteor Timelapse mp4 video 

>>> [Video HERE] <<<


NOTE:  There are lots of "meteor-wrongs" (birds, planes, insects, etc.) in the TimeLapse video, particularly in the early evening before midnight! SUMMER IN FLORIDA.  Timestamp is in UTC.