The All-Sky Camera

The all sky camera is used to record the entire night sky. Its purpose is track bright meteors (fireballs). Ours is one of several stations on Vancouver Island and the mainland (B.C. and the U.S.). Bright fireballs captured on two or more cameras can be triangulated to provide an estimate of the location of possible falls of meteoritic material, and to get an estimate of the pre-encounter orbit.

The CCD TV camera is a small white cylinder placed at the top of a roof mounted tripod;it looks down onto a curved reflecting surface (mirror). The signal from the camera on the roof is brought into the recording equipment in the lab by a cable. One VCR is programmed to record the incoming signal from before sunset to just after midnight; the other from just before midnight to just after dawn. The data are then analyzed for bright, transient features.