All Sky Cam

Explanation of Image

Astronomical Applications

With high sensitivity and low dark current, the All Sky Cam performs extremely well for night time imaging of the entire sky. Whether amateur or professional, you will be able to see the condition of the sky at a glance. You can make the call whether to observe or not, right from the comfort of the nearest TV set or computer1.

The Moonglow Technologies All Sky Cam is the first practical, low cost color nighttime all sky imaging system. Color adds an important dimension to the image, allowing light pollution domes and clouds to be clearly distinguished. Aurora show their true colors, and terrestrial light pollution sources are easily identified. During daytime, the color image allows easy discrimination between a clear blue sky and an overcast one, which a black and white camera struggles to do.

1 Video digitizer required, not included.

All Sky View

What You Can See

  • Sun
  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Stars
  • Bright deep sky objects (M31, M42, etc)
  • Bolides and fireball meteors
  • Bright satellites
  • Satellite decays
  • Aircraft
  • Aurora2
  • Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds2
  • Zodiacal Light2
  • Light pollution domes
  • Local light sources
  • Observatory dome or roof
The All Sky Cam excels at large diffuse objects, and bright stars. Due to the typical 1-4 second nighttime exposure, fainter meteors will only be detected at the darkest of observing sites.

2 Requires dark sky with little light pollution.

Installed on Dome

Benefits

Casual observers: Maximize your observing experience and satisfaction by getting out there when the conditions are at their best. The All Sky Cam lets you check not only whether it's clear, but also see what's up in the sky tonight, without leaving the comfort of the sofa in front of your TV!

Dark sky sites: If you travel to a distant dark sky site to escape the curse of city light pollution, you can use the All Sky Cam to check the weather there from home or the office. You'll know if its fogged in or crystal clear at the site before investing the time and gas to drive there.

Remote observatories: Whether your observatory is in your backyard or in another hemisphere, the All Sky Cam will show you the sky and allow you to adjust your observing session to the sky conditions. Spot clouds or aircraft before they ruin an exposure. Check if your dome shutter is fully closed, or covered in snow.

Professional observatories: The All Sky Cam allows you to monitor the sky conditions quickly and efficiently from the control room or your remote operating location. You'll see clouds before they ruin long exposures, and you'll know instantly if the night is truly photometric quality. With custom software, sky quality can be an input to your observation sequencing algorithm to make the most out of partially cloudy skies that would otherwise be unusable.

Researchers: The very low cost of the All Sky Cam allows dozens of units to be cost effectively deployed across a wide area to record weather patterns, aurora, light pollution, bolides, and other topics. Automatic exposure ensures usable imagery no matter the light levels. Moonglow Technologies' consulting experts can develop a turn-key hardware/software solution tailored for your research needs.

Aurora

The All Sky Cam is always delivering color video, day or night, so you'll see aurora in true color. The spectacular display below was captured by Arne Danielsen of Sole Skog Observatory.

Spectacular Aurora

Case Study, February 28, 2011

It's a beautiful night for observing the sky. The stars are out, the sky is clear and transparent, and numerous constellations and the Milky Way are visible. Orion is as high as it gets. But coming from the west are high thin clouds...
Later, upon stepping outside, at first glance the stars are still out and the sky seems pretty clear. However the All Sky Cam tells the true story of transparency-robbing cirrus clouds that would make for a frustrating observing session. These clouds are faint and slow moving enough that they would not become visible to the naked eye until almost fully dark adapted.

Fireballs

With the optional All Sky Cam Uploader Kit, fireball meteors can be automatically detected and saved to JPEG files. Click here for an example of a fainter meteor, near the limit of automatic detection.

Fireball

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