2018, January 31 - The near-perigee blue Moon lunar eclipse tonight, as seen from station CAMS Sunnyvale, was captured in this compilation of all-sky images by Jim Albers.
2017, December 14 - The Geminids did not disappoint last night. Many were bright, but the meteor that stole the show in the SF Bay Area appeared at 07:58 UT. Observing from Fremont Peak Observatory under a clear sky with some thin cirrus clouds, Peter Jenniskens described the meteor as "an intensely bright green point of light with halo, leaving a brief persistent train". The meteor was recorded in the CAMS network and also documented by an all-sky camera operated by Wes Jones in Belmont and a Desert Fireball Network camera operated by Jim Albers in Sunnyvale (photo above). The bright Geminid moved from San Leandro (37.74N, 122.17W at 106 km altitude) to San Francisco (37.75N, 122.43W at 62 km altitude), penetrating to about 40 km altitude. If material survived, it fell in the Pacific Ocean West of San Francisco.
2017, October 31 - A new GFO camera has been installed at the Allan Telescope Array facility in northern California. Jon Richards is the camera operator.
2017, October 31 - A new GFO camera has been installed at the residence of Jim Collins in Chico.
2017, August 31 - Phil Bland reports that Bill Cooke will deploy three cameras near NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and Mark Fries plans to deploy two cameras near NASA Johnson Space Flight Center.
2017, May 22 - Three new cameras are being shipped from Curtin University. One camera will stay at Sunnyvale. The other two will be installed in northern California after testing is completed.
2017, June 6 - Peter Jenniskens and colleagues have submitted a proposal to the NASA SSO program that will support the deployment of GFO in California and Nevada if awarded.
2017, January 22 - Phil Bland reports that the Australian Science Council LIEF grant has been awarded. NASA SERVII will provide support for deployment of cameras elsewhere in the world. Hasnaa Chennaoui is onboard for expansion of GFO cameras in Morrocco.
2016, September 30 - The Loma Pietra wild fire in California is not yet treatening the new GFO camera site, but does provide some spectacular night-time imaging, with fire illuminating the smoke.
2016, August 22 - The GFO camera at the CAMS Sunnyvale station was moved to Mount Umunhum, where Lance Ginner is the person hosting the camera. Lance was instrumental in developing the first ham radio amateur satllites in the 1960's. We are glad to have him join the GFO team. The site is at a higher elevation and just outside the Bay Area, but only 30 km from Lick Observatory. The picture above shows first light in the night of August 25.
2016, July 28 - The fly's eye CAMS meteor camera station at Lick Observatory has been expanded with an automated all-sky digital camera developed by the Desert Fireball Network of Curtin University, Australia. The new camera (with gps antenna and lens behind a white cover plate) is shown in the foreground, positioned next to the Mount Hamilton Allsky2 weather camera. The Shane telescope is in the background. The new camera is capable of capturing bright meteors closer to the horizon and will be used to track future meteorite falls in a project led by Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute.
2016, July 28 - We captured the re-entry of China's Long March 7 rocket body over California and Nevada at 04:35:58 UT this evening. Both imaging and spectroscopic data were obtained. Above is the view from Sunnyvale (Jim Albers) and Lick Observatory. The spectrum shows signs of tumbling. The rocket was launched to test technologies on June 25 and entered along a shallow trajectory one month later.
2016, July 20 - Phil Bland, head of the Desert Fireball Network in Australia and in town for a SERVII science meeting at NASA Ames Research Center, visited the CAMS Sunnyvale station this evening. Jim Albers showed how the GFO camera now has a new perch at the top of the roof.
2016, March 25 - Phil Bland of Curtin University, in a collaboration with Peter Jenniskens (California/Nevada), Tim Swindle (Arizona), Peter Brown (Western Ontario), and Chris Herd (Alberta) put in grants to the Australian Science Council (ARC LIEF) to create a Global Fireball Observatory (GFO) by expanding the deployment of the new GFO (DFN-type) cameras.
The Cloud as seen from the Sunnyvale CAMS station (Jim Albers).
2015, November 7 - A bright cloud of particles from a Navy missile test scattered sunlight shortly after sunset and created this display for viewers in the SF Bay Area at around 6:01 pm PST this evening.
This fireball was captured in an all-sky camera located at the CAMS station site in Sunnyvale on 2015 October 24 between 05:47:27 and 05:47:57 UT.
2015, October 24 - FIRST SUCCESS! A bright fireball was captured in our allsky camera in Sunnyvale, California, in a south-eastern direction on Friday night October 23 at 22:47 local time. The firball appeared just outside of the CAMS survey area, but was widely reported to the American Meteor Society. Sonic booms were heard and it is possible that meteorites may have fallen. [Note added: Meteorites were recovered near Creston, CA]
2015, August 27 - A bright meteor appeared at 06:01 UT today that was the first to be captured by the new DFN camera at Sunnyvale. It was seen from Palo Alto and other locations in California. The meteor appeared low in the south from Sunnyvale and was also captured at Lick Observatory from a lower resolution all-sky camera. The pattern of dots is caused by an electronic shutter that adds a time code to the meteor trail. While the first station is operating nominally, the second station is still being prepped for deployment, with some issues requiring physical access to the box. Jim expects that the second station will be at Sunnyvale for another week or two.
2015, August 12 - Maximum of the Perseids today. Jim Albers reports that the first DFN camera was installed at Sunnyvale, after some back and forth with our Australian collaborators. The camera, before the light shield was installed, is shown to the right, next to the CAMS Spectrograph and CAMS Sunnyvale station. The CAMS Spectrograph contains an all-sky video camera under its glass dome that is used to recognize the appearance of bright events. Peter Jenniskens and Mike Koop deployed the second DFN camera from a temporary location at Fremont Peak Observatory, where a public night was held to celebrate the exceptional observing conditions for this year's shower.
2015, July 29 - Phil Bland of the Desert Firebal Network (DFN) project of Curtin University in western Australia has donated two all-sky cameras to the SETI Institute that are the automated 32 MPixel digital cameras (Nikon D810) used in the DFN. Plan is to set these all-sky cameras up in the CAMS network to test the accuracy of the DFN orbit determinations and as a testbed for future instrument development.
2015, July 24 - NASA's S.E.R.V.I.I. partners with the University of Curtin for Solar System Exploration Science.