Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fun with Geminids Meteors 2012

The Geminds are coming, you may be lucky to have no clouds and be in dark enough skies to visually count them. Or even capture a few images. But if the clouds come you can still hear then and now also capture images of then using these examples of  DIY meteor counters.

Get Processing programing environment from this location. Install it on to your computer. Try some of the examples, it very easy to get started.

The first example is a simple test to see that you can hear and see the audio trace,. You may need to adjust your audio settings to make this work. The programs are trying to listen to the audio line on your PC. Try it without any USB headsets if they are connected. changing the audio mixer settings may help.

Get the text code here for RadMCmin.txt. Copy the text into a new sketch and save. When you have the space weather Radio stream active, run the RADMCmin program , You will see a small window open to display a spectrogram and a signal trace of the signal level. A good meteor will look this..

This one doesn't count or save anything, your challenge would be to make changes to this version to make your own meteor counter.

Yes, here's one I made earlier, this one saves a time stamped screen image of the event and also counts each event. It has a trigger control to set sensitivity, look at the code for all the control keys.

Get the text code here for RadMCpingo.txt ....
You will need to make a small directory tree under the pingo directory, like this...

So when you save a few good images then make a timeline of the events with your favorite image software, like this...  I used ImageJ...

Since you now have a UTC time line of events you could then try to correlate these events to other sources of info like this one, Fireball Network in the USA. The Space weather radio signal is being detected in New Mexico. The fireball network has a few cameras there also.