Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

Abstract:

Every night we experience the celestial phenomenon of meteors falling to Earth. Meteors are chunks of space debris composed of mostly rock or metal, which light up the night sky and are more popularly known as “shooting stars”. I used an all-sky camera to observe these meteors. The all-sky camera is a low light sensitive camera with a fish-eye lens so it can observe the whole night sky. If a meteor occurs, the ASGARD motion detection program saves a video of the event along with the summary of each frame of the event. I calibrated the images to get a better estimate of the magnitude of the meteor. Each image is calibrated by using the known stars in the camera’s field of view. The calibration of an image is the difference between the magnitude of the image and the magnitude of known stars that are in the image. Differences in observation environment, such as cloud cover or a bright moon result in different images and each image needs its own calibration. Since each image gets its own calibration there is a distribution of calibration values for all the events. Comparing my new programs to the old method of one calibration for all events it was determined that the per event calibration has on average a +1.5 magnitude shift in the peak magnitude of the event.

Comments

Advisor: Dr. Jim Crumley

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