Light pollution monitoring with panoptes



Just like to introduce myself to the wider Panoptes team… I’m PI of the Huntsman Telescope project at Macquarie University. We’re using an array of Canon telephoto lenses like the Dragonfly Telescope to do low surface brightness imaging… and likely exoplanet follow-up as well.

The flat fielding thread that @Jacob is related to some ideas about using small aperture, large FOV imaging systems to monitor light pollution and atmospheric emission.

This idea was inspired by these images. Imagine a real-time movie of this level of detail every night by each panoptes unit!

In addition to engaging images, there is potential to validate models of light pollution propagation (e.g. Martin Aubé’s Illumina model ) and for our Huntsman low surface brightness work we really care about removing subtle sky gradients in our images.

I think @Jacob 's work will be to see what level of sky detail that can be extracted from a standard setup. We’ll probably extend to Huntsman eventually.

Comments welcome on any of this!




Lee, I love evolution that has led to the Dragonfly array, and hope you have similar success to that team.

Among the copious list of wanna-do projects I have, I’d like to have an inexpensive all sky camera to go with the PANOPTES scope. Such a camera might be an effective substitute for the AAG CloudWatcher for determining whether it is safe to observe; i.e. if we can see stars rather than clouds, it is pretty likely OK to observe! Given that the AAG device is US $500, there is certainly room in the budget for a raspberry pi, a plastic dome and an inexpensive USB camera IF it is able to substitute for the AAG.