Friday, February 19, 2010

First Light

For the first nights inaugural test I set the Fireball camera up on a tripod and pointed it approximately west, the only spot where I could get a clear view of the sky from ground level.

Almost straight away I was able to capture moving things such as birds and planes. UFO Capture can produce a few different snapshot images as well as a movie of the event. One of the snapshot images is a ‘hit mask’, basically an image of the scene with the total movement track of the object over the capture period, highlighted in cyan.

Here are a few examples of birds. You can see their random movements create some cool track effects.

The Flapper

Track left by a bird that crosses past the lens relatively closely. The 'bumps' are the bird flapping its wings.

High Altitude Flock

Multiple tracks caused by many birds flying together relatively far away from the camera. Not sure where they are all going?

Love Birds

One bird chasing another bird. There are three tracks because at the very end of the video one of the birds flies back down the frame at high speed...obviously she was not impressed with the first bird.

Speed Demon

This smudge track occurs when a bird flies extremely fast and close past the lens.

Another hazard to avoid are planes. Planes usually go in a straight line and some have flashing lights that cause the track to ‘pulsate’.

Flashing Plane

A typical track of a flashing plane right across the image. You can see the regular flashes on the track. Thanks for wasting my disk space buddy.

Another pest to the camera are insects.

Crazy Bug

Insects move like no plane or bird can...all over the place!

Rods - Inter-dimensional Insects

That's what some people in planet Earth think these kind of captures show. When an insect such as a moth flies very close to the camera it leaves a distinctive track and looks like a tube creature with wings. There was even a Monster Quest episode on it. Google "Rods" and you'll be entertained for a few hours.

Of course it rained towards the end of the first night...but that’s Melbourne for you.

And after all that, no meteors!

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