Meteor Pi makes it really easy for schools, community groups, and enthusiasts to observe the night sky.
We're installing a network of CCTV cameras that point upwards and record pictures of the sky throughout the hours of darkness. They take a series of long-exposure still photos each night, and they're also motion sensitive, taking video clips of anything that moves.
You can use Meteor Pi images to watch how the constellations circle overhead as the night progresses, or how they change with the seasons. You can see the changing phases of the Moon, or watch the planets move across the sky.
The motion sensors in our cameras capture footage of planes, satellites, and shooting stars. We also see rarer phenomena: lightning strikes, fireworks, and glints of light from solar panels on spacecraft.
The fact that we have a network of many cameras means that sometimes we see the same object from multiple different locations. That enables us to triangulate their exact three-dimensional positions, including their altitude and speed.
To find out more about the Meteor Pi project, you should visit our project website.
There, you can find information sheets about educational activities, and you can browse our entire data archive.
These GitHub pages contain all of the program code and hardware designs that we use. They're all open source, and if you want to set up your own camera using our software, you should be able to find all the information you need here.
Meteor Pi is open to all!
Many of our activities have been developed with children in mind, but all our data is open for anyone to access. You can find instructions on these GitHub pages for building your own camera, and we'd be delighted to hear how you get on. We're especially keen to work with amateur astronomers who would like to use our cameras to make scientific observations of meteors, for example as part of the NEMETODE and [UKMON] (http://www.ukmeteornetwork.co.uk) networks.