måndag 8 augusti 2011

Correcting the Neumayer parts of the 8.7.11 video

For the lat/long and other facts about Neumayer see my Facts about Neumayer post.

Auroras are often ocurring near the poles and can last very long : "Undulating ribbons of light may shimmer in the sky for hours"

At 24:25 it's mentioned that there's something very bright in the left 
corner of the image, causing the auroras. That is absolutely right -
it is the sun, and as we know the Aurora Borealis/Australis is caused by
charged particles hitting the earths magnetic field.
Now if you go to the Horizon Views at YourSky and enter 2011-08-06 07:20:00 the sun isn't up!
That's because a couple of things :
  • it's the sensitive night vision view of the webcam we're seeing so the amount of light is highly exaggerated
  • sunrise is when the disk touches the horizon and with the low inclination of the sun at the poles in winter, the sun stays just below for a long time. 
At 10:30 UTC it's up - which brings us to the rising of the crescent moon at 24:45 in the video :  If you enter the Neumayer values at http://aom.giss.nasa.gov/moonloc.html you see that the moon rises at about 7:00
Since the sun is to the left of the moon, and the reflection of the sun rays
is what's causing the moon to shine, the left part of the moon should be lit; just as in the images.

One thing missed in the video is that at 25:40 you can see them sending off one of the weather/ozon/whatnot-balloons.

At 26:20 there's a strange bright object in the sky. Well as you can see in the comparison between the (slightly enhanced) webcam shot and what YourSky says it's clear that it's Fomalhaut - according to Wiki "one of the brightest stars in the sky"

The reason the Radar Dome shadow hasn't been seen lately (as mentioned at 27:00) is that the moon has just been a sliver and not able to produce shadows. If you go to YourSky, enter 21:40 and change the Azimuth to NW instead of SE you're in essence looking at what's behind the webcam - and there's the moon. And as we've seen it's now going on half moon so there is enough light to produce shadows. In the coming weeks they will be even more pronounced.

At 28:45 there seems to be some misunderstanding of how lens flares work.
There is a strong lightsource (since it's the night vision it doesn't have to bee that bright. And at 29:50 we do see it in day vision) on the "beacon" and the reflection it makes in the lens causes the flare. There's nothing up and off to the right causing anything.

At 29:30 that's Sirius and to the right above we see the "triangular ship" aka dogs-ass we saw in the 8.1.11 blog. I'll leave it up to the reader to go to YourSky and prove it.

Facts about Neumayer

Since we're going to go over a bunch of new and old stuff from the Neumayer Startion in the coming blogs I'd like to state some facts here so I don't have to go over them every time.

  • Pronounciation : Say the phrase "annoy my earth", remove the beginning "ah" and the last "th" and you'll get NOY-MY-ERR. That's how you pronounce Neumayer.
  • Location : It's lat/long is 70°39' S, 08°15' W.
  • Camera position and direction : As stated on http://www.awi.de/NM_WebCam the webcam is placed on the communications radom and is pointed at the north side of the base. So it's essentially looking south-east.
    When there's enough light it runs in normal mode (color) and if not it runs in a very light sensitive night vision (black/white) mode. (Update:) The distance between night and day sensors in the camera is also responsible for the jump in the image when it switches (or it could possibly be a different camera for night/day).
  • Daylight : Since it's about as far away from the acctual pole as you can get on Antarctica it does have some hours of light even in the winter.
  • Timezone : The camera images are presented as UTC and the station seems to use UTC as well. 
  • Other : They do send up sime "UFO:s" on their own, like ozoneprobes and other weather related balloons.
An overview of the station looks like this :
 This is a slightly cropped image from http://onorbit.com/node/789

We can clearly see the "communications radom" (RAdar DOMe), where the webcamera is located, and the "garage port" in the ground that takes you inte the nether regions of the station.

A couple of links with more info and images :
Google images also has lots of good ones.