Wednesday, June 11, 2014

BML Cam1 Jonas Ridge Camera (Oct-Nov 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 images for BML Cam1 for Oct 2013 have a 50-degree field of view (74-124 azimuths) with Brown Mountain visible far in the distance.   The single image for Nov 2013 was taken with the same comet-hunting camera but has an enlarged 20-degree field of view (85-105) azimuths with only the north end of Brown Mountain showing on the far right side of the image.
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.

Jupiter and Orion in the sky above Brown Mountain
Wanning Crescent moon (16%) produces diffraction/over-saturated effexcts with lens flare and rays.
Vehicle headlights on Forest Service Road 496
Enlarged View (85-105 field of view azimuths)
Lights of Taylorsville, Lenoir, airplanes, and vehicles on NC Hwy 181 and at the Brown Mountain Overlook.
Bright light in Lenoir produces vertical rays.

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