|Webcam skywatch experiment - August 2004|
|In my search for unexplained sky phenomena I hooked up my digital video camera to my computer.|
setup - I use an old Sony
DCR-PC2 digicam and connect it by Firewire to my old Dell
Win2K PC. The only freeware video program that works with
this setup is FWink. It takes a picture every minute and
stores it as a 600*800 bit jpeg. The pictures are renamed
and stored using a VBScript program. I analyzed all the
pictures with IrfanView and selected the most interesting
Sampling frequency too low - In a period of 3 days I took more than 3000 pictures (sometimes the programs would crash and stop recording). It is quite disappointing how few pictures contain anything interesting. One picture every minute is too slow to catch everything that happens in the sky. A random sky event - a bird or plane passing by - takes several seconds. It would be much better to take a picture every second.
Results - Below you see the most interesting pictures I selected. I did use IrfanView to enlarge some pictures and enhance the contrast. No other processing was performed.
objects - UFO's or not?
I don't know what this roundish object is. It does not look like any of the explainable objects I recorded. I have no idea how far the object is from the camera. It is no bird, insect or plane, it's too big and too round for that.
Neither do I know what this is. It might be a bird flapping it's wings, or a small sports plane. But it is a weird shape indeed. Compare it with the other bird pictures, lower on the page.
phenomena - I don't understand how the
dark room can be illuminated at night. Are those car
headlights shining into my room at 3:00 AM? Or a burglar
with his flashlight? Not very likely ...
dots by night - Most probably these are
insects illuminated by the lamp on my balcony.
But the weird thing is that many other insects are easily recognizeable. Look at the moths below. Are the dots just insects at a greater distance?
dots by day - Again, I think these are
Below are some easily recognizeable insects.
clouds - It is nice to look at all the
moving clouds. This way you can see their movement and
development. I even have shots where you can see two
different cloud layers moving in different directions!
and contrails - I was very disappointed
by how few airplanes I was ale to record. There are lots
of them flying overhead.
- Lots of them, but still much fewer than you can see
with the naked eye. And they come much closer, but then
they are probably too fast for the camera to catch them.