Just in time for the upcoming Perseid meteor shower, a new meteor surveillance station has come on-line at Meteor Crater, Arizona. A box of 16 off-the-shelf video surveillance cameras is used to monitor the night sky for meteors over the famous impact crater. Powerful software combines the meteor detections with those at other stations at Lowell Observatory, Lowell’s Discovery Channel Telescope, and at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in order to triangulate the meteors and track their motion through the atmosphere.
“The cameras pinpoint recovery locations for large meteors that impact Earth,” says Nick Moskovitz of Lowell Observatory, who leads the project nicknamed LO-CAMS for “Lowell Observatory CAMS”. “Our goal is to discover new meteor showers and better understand meteors and their link to asteroids and comets in the Solar System.”
LO-CAMS is part of a larger network of cameras called CAMS, “Cameras for All-sky Meteor Surveillance”, which originated in California and is led by meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center.
CAMS stands apart from other modern meteor observing programs in that it uses a fly’s eye approach that stitches together the results from an array of 16 cameras, rather than a single camera with ...