Friday, June 13, 2014

BML Cam1 Jonas Ridge Camera (Dec 2013)

Brown Mountain Lights Camera 1 (BML Cam1) sits atop a house on Jonas Ridge, NC and looks east toward Brown Mountain.

Dr. Dan Caton, Professor and Director of Observatories, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) installed and operates BML Cam1 as part of an on-going research project. Dr. Caton also installed and operates another research camera (BML Cam2) located at the southern end of Linville Gorge. The images from both cameras for 2013 and 2014 have been compiled into nightly videos and posted on YouTube---just search "Brown Mountain Lights Camera 1" (or Camera 2) for the individual nightly videos. Both cameras are modified light-sensitive comet-hunting cameras, as evidenced by the frequent diffraction/over-saturation/lens flare features produced by overly bright lights.

To date, numerous lights have been recorded by Cam1, including: town/city/rural lights in the valleys beyond Brown Mountain, communication tower lights, airplanes, highway-vehicle lights, off-highway vehicle lights, and back-country user lights. Natural lights captured by the camera include bright stars, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, the moon and lightning. Disappointingly, Cam1 has not recorded any support for mysterious or unknown lights in the Brown Mountain area.

The following selected image for BML Cam1 for Dec 1, 2013 has a 20-degree field of view (85-105 azimuths) with only the north end of Brown Mountain visible on the right edge of the image. The remaining images for Dec 2013 were taken with the same comet-hunting camera but the field of view was changed to 96-114 azimuths (18-degree enlargement) with Brown Mountain streaching nearly edge to edge in the image; NC Hwy 181 and the Brown Mountain Overlook are no longer
within the field of view.  Lenoir's seasonal Christmas Star was lighted from Nov 28, 2013 until Jan 7, 2014.
Annotations on the images are made by me. Note that distances in miles between the camera and the objects identified are given. Increased vehicle activity during the Fall hunting season was noticed on some of the back-country roads in the area around Brown Mountain; however hunting is not allowed on Brown Mountain itself since it is an off-highway-vehicle Recreation Area.
See other posts for additional identified lights from BML Cam1.

Note Lenoir's Christmas Star atop Hibriten Mtn and lights at the Brown Mountain Overlook on NC Hwy 181.
The smear line was produced by image transition errors internal to the camera.
Same Camera as before-, now with Telephoto View
Lights from Lenoir's Christmas Star, the Google Data Center and airplanes, as well as city/town/rural lights between Lenoir and Hickory are visible above Brown Mountain.

Airplane with blinking navigation lights visible in sky over Brown Mountain.
Lenoir's Christmas Star atop Hibriten Mtn is still lighted.
Reflected moonlight reveals Lael's Rock on west side of Brown Mountain, site of Ralph Lael's 1962 alien abduction episode
Airplane lands at Statesville Municipal Airport

Note lights from Google's Data Center in Lenoir, airplane in sky above Brown Mountain, and a MedEvac helicopter landing at theLenoir hospital. Although unmarked, Lenoir's Christmas Star atop Hibriten Mtn is also visible.

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