Luis, Attilla — Hi Dodie, Gary,
I appreciate you looking into this. I got a separate reply from Attilla Danko offering to help with monitoring and reporting on all sky visibility. Lenses that see the whole sky will have visible areas on parts of the sky. I have found live cameras where a few stars peek out of fairly dense clouds. Thinking globally, where groups learn correlation methods by using the everywhere available all sky cameras, it is possible to monitor the image feeds for any part of the sky that is clear. I am trying to set up a computer(s) to track most likely videos continuously. Find good seeing, or calculate which video cameras have good seeing by using GOES and other global meteorological and radar feeds, will help. Attilla uses Ben Sugarman’s methods, but there ae many others. Those groups could work together, rather than all alone.
Ben Sugerman, Limiting Magnitude Calculator – http://www.cleardarksky.com/others/BenSugerman/star.htm I have not checked it. Seems to have all the pieces, but hard to use. There must be more “sky weather” methods. Every observatory has it, but few share. McDonald Observatory in Texas has an active person, but hard to reach.
I am trying to work out how to locate the cameras precisely, determine their camera direction(s) and properties. I can match “all sky” maps like Sky and Telescope. But they are clumsy and require much background that most people don’t have. But for us, maybe we can make our own or add a group.
“Clarity” is different when there are many images to be stacked. Or where multiple cameras can see the same thing.
And, the parts of the sky with clouds, or rain, fog, snow, lightning, wind-blown clouds – can be monitored for the meteorological networks. ALL the sensor networks are overlapping and connecting. For the Internet, I am trying to encourage that because things like “global climate change” need it. And I think it will speed the merging of data and methods from global astronomical groups, which are now very fragmented and incomplete. Yes, many big gathering projects, but that is not getting to everyone. And much duplication of basic tool development. NASA and YouTube are putting out lossy images of stars and planets mostly.
Please ask me whatever you have questions about, and tell me your thoughts and ideas. I found another 30 live cameras on YouTube today, many with half sky. I know the quality if often poor, but tracking stars or planets for a couple of hours is often possible. It is possible to solve for camera calibration data and distortion. I am pretty sure I can adjust a bit for spectral sensitivity, since the brighter star spectra are available, and sunlight and moonlight and sun from planets is all fairly straightforward.
Getting people familiar with tracking and stacking and overlays and deep data attached to images is part of what I am trying to demonstrate. Every kid in school will be seeing that most of their lives. Using familiar sky, stars, clouds, and having the overlays for any cell phone video or image will help. I have not written that yet, but it is just taking the GPS time and location, and compass, then looking up the stars or objects, matching, tracking and stacking, refinement and then adding an overlay. HTML in the browsers allows this for most any cell phone or computer. It is being able to attach all related data and information to something in an image that is important.
I know I am giving you a lot to think about. Is there a clear dark sky anywhere for a demonstration all sky camera? It can be at Attilla’s or somewhere in Texas. There is a map somewhere with all the Internet providers and their bandwidths. I have not seen it in a few years, but it should still be there somewhere.
Please tell me about yourselves and your interests. If we can’t do this, maybe we can do something else.
Two of more cameras a few miles can be used for cloud distance estimation. I know there are groups using dual frequency GPS receiver data to estimate ionospheric electron densities and electron column densities. And I am pretty sure water vapor column masses. I see a lot of experiments going on globally. But they are all disconnected, often fail because the groups never meet and build connections and synergies.
I kept writing trying to remember something. I watched Elon Musk putting up all the satellites, and they are a visible and probably permanent part of the night sky. I wanted to ask him to add all sky cameras to every new satellite. He has Intenet, and can add fairly low cost high quality cameras to look down, but more importantly to look outward. Potentially there could be all sky cameras on geosynchronous satellites and microsatellites. A permanent clear sky for people in cities that never see them.
I think we owe a clear view of the night and day sky to every child and person on earth (moon and mars and space soon)
I have not heard from ABC13. I will see if I can call the station manager or someone in the weather department. I only had a little time. They just happen to be close to me. One camera is just over a mile away and the other five miles. If they had all sky (180 degree, fish eye, “all sky” different names) cameras the two locations would overlap. They can keep the existing views but add “scientific” cameras for “education”, “astronomy”, “meteorology”. I want to see about monitoring and recording segments where the planets and moon and stars are available. These are shared on YouTube. I am Director of the Internet Foundation, I can write useful global policies and best practices – eventually. Sharing grows markets and collaborative communities 100 times faster than hoarding and monopolies is the general rule.
I will see about talking to schools about machine vision, machine learning, and big data methods using these simple and available camera and related data streams. It is real and practical, something that can be seen and tried with any browser.
I put this note at /?p=1455 I never post emails. If anyone wants to try this, I will see about getting a domain and website and sharing tools. I will try to organize my notes and share them. My son, Ben, helps me on many things. And my brother, Clif, can build efficient distributed networks.
Richard K Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation