Thursday, December 4, 2014

BML Cam1 Jonas Ridge Camera for October 2014

The Brown Mountain Lights Research Team's BML Cam1 sits atop a house on Jonas Ridge and overlooks Brown Mountain 7 miles to the east. It has been running intermittently since February 2013.

Dr. Dan Caton, Professor and Director of Observatories, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) installed and operates the camera 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 are 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 highly light-sensitive meteor-hunting cameras.

To date, numerous lights have been recorded by Cam1, including: town/city/rural lights in the valleys beyond Brown Mountain, fireworks, communication tower lights, airplanes and helicopters, highway-vehicle lights, off-highway-vehicle lights, stadium lights, and back-country user lights. Natural lights captured by the camera include stars, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, the Moon, lightning and fireflies. Disappointingly, Cam1 has yet to record any support for mysterious or unknown lights in the Brown Mountain area.

BML Cam1 recorded 306 hours of nocturnal observation time on 31 seperate nights during October 2014, resulting in 34,250 individual 30-second time-exposure images and 3,400 individual 10-second time-exposure images. This brings the totals over the past 21 months since start up in Feb 2013 to 3,354 hours of nocturnal observation time on 381 seperate nights resulting in 363,708 individual time-exposure images.

No abnormal, unusual or unexpected nocturnal lights were recorded by BML Cam1 during October 2014.  However, the usual distant city/town/rural lights, airplane lights, and light from the bright planet Jupiter were visible this month. Rainy/foggy weather obscured views a few nights and reflections of Hwy 181 vehicle lights on the east side of Ripshin Ridge were ocassionally visible. Dust plumes & clouds in the valley s. of Lenoir were also visible a few nights. Multiple airplanes landing & taking off from Statesville airport were visible many nights.  Special 10-second time exposures were recorded on Oct 25/26, but produced no new revelations.  Faint moving ATV lights were visible on the ridgeline near Bear Rocks on BM on Oct 30.  Stationary, occassional camper lights at campsite near Bear Rocks were visible on the nights of Oct 30 & 31.

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