The British Columbia Meteor Network and its associate members are dedicated volunteers who have worked together to advance knowledge of meteor science. Some of our members are professionals although most are devoted amateurs.
The network is comprised of a video detection component as well as a radio detection component. We share our data with multinational governments and astronomy groups.
Data collection is only one goal of the the network. We also hope to promote a strong educational program in open cooperation with the school districts and community colleges of British Columbia.
Feel free to browse our site. Likewise, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to know more.
British Columbia Meteor Network Coverage Map
Click here to see the full resolution map.
For a brief history of how the network got started please read Ed’s article.
The observatory currently employs only one camera with a fish eye lens. The camera is mounted through the roof; it replaced a cap over a former aluminum chimney from a living room gas fireplace. The outside finger joints are sealed with silicon caulking preventing any water from entering the attic. In the photo below a friend, Brent, shoots in true north with compass as I rotated the camera’s base from within the attic.
The lower end of the camera housing is inside the attic. I installed an AC outlet right next to it to power the camera and anti-dew heater. The black wire is the coax that carries the 1 Vp-p raw video signal down to the amplified video distribution box.
The installment is complete and ready to observe.
The raw video signal is sent from the rooftop down a coax to an amplified video distribution box (See below).
From the video splitter the video is then piped to a computer running the Python language program that came with the Sandi National Laboratories Sentinel camera. Since the original program was written in Python it can run on any operating system. The Sentinel software has been running flawlessly for three years on a very old, very slow, and very limited memory refurbished laptop running Linux. This software uses an external frame grabber as shown below.
The video break out box also sends raw video to a second computer running the latest version of the Sentinel system. Unfortunately the next generation of the Sentinel system software is a Windows only – compiled software. It requires an internal PCI slot for an internal frame grabber. The board is a ImpactVCB model 188 board that comes with Hauppauge WinTV version 5.9G installation software.
The software is in early beta testing stage and bugs are being suppressed with each beta version. Eventually the software will automatically ftp all overnight captures to New Mexico where the files will processed and analyzed for each observer. This feature is not yet implemented.
A third output of the video break out box is sent to a external Canopus ADVC-110 video to digital converter. The digital output from the ADVC is then sent by firewire to the computer where the UFOCapture program detects the meteors. To see an informative video about the ADVC-110 go here – It will take you to the YouTube site and play the video.
More to come…
All times UT
20100905 061055 NE quad going SE -2 mag
20100905 080720 SW quad going S -3 mag
20100905 080746 NE&NW quad going NW -1.7 mag long trail
20100905 093915 NE quad going N -2.6 mag
20100905 094200 SW quad going SW -2.2 mag
20100905 120316 NE quad going NNE mag unknown (Sentinel III) All others UFOC2
The RA and Dec and Az/El for all the events but last are available.