The aim of UKMON Live is simply to engage with anyone interested in the night sky and allow them to enjoy the beauty of meteors. We also hope to generate wider interest in meteors, to raise awareness. Most of all to have fun without losing sight of the science behind meteors!
We recognised the huge fascination in meteors when we saw that our reports on observations of bright meteors anywhere in the world sparked a flurry of activity on social media. Whenever we commented Twitter about a recent observation it sparked a flurry of tweets with questions, people making comments or even reporting their own observations. Over a pint at the White Swan in Ash Vale, UKMON founders Richard Kacerek and Peter Campbell-Burns hit on the idea to share images of meteors as soon as they are recorded. UKMON Live was launched just in time for the 2013 Perseids and ran very successfully for three years.
In 2016 it was necessary to suspend UKMON temporarily whilst our systems were migrated into ‘the cloud’. A consequence of this move was that UKMON Live had to be rebuilt from the ground. Richard’s team at Empire Elements has completed the rebuild, and what better time is there than the 2018 Perseids to bring UKMON back online?
It’s quite simple really. Whenever a meteor camera in the Network detects a meteor, a still image of the meteor is streamed directly to the UKMON Live AWS platform. This is then picked up and published directly onto our website. Amongst the meteor images you will see images of passing aircraft and satellites; our cameras will sometimes pick up other things.
If you visit UKMON Live you can view all recent meteors and view meteors for selected sites, you can view by station location, by magnitude, and by shower. In the coming months we will continue to develop UKMON Live and will add new features and will make the site more interactive Perseid Meteor Watch 2018.
Although UKMON Live will be active throughout the year, we will run online “meteor watch” events during the major meteor showers. Our first event will be the 2018 Perseids. As well as showing meteors as they happen we shall maintain an active commentary on social media. So whether you are an armchair astronomer or will be out under the stars, why not join in? If it’s cloudy where you are, it is likely that some of our cameras will still enjoy clear skies – so you can still enjoy the show! Why not join us?
UKMON Live is a spin-off from the main project which aimed primarily at raising awareness and engaging with the public. The idea arose when we noted that meteor observations anywhere in the world sparked a flurry of activity on Twitter. We set up the UKMON Live website to share images of meteor events as they are recorded. As soon as any one of our stations detects a meteor an image of the meteor is streamed to our UKMeteorWatch website. In August 2013 we used the UKMeteorWatch website along with Twitter to run a successful internet meteor watch event for the 2013 Perseids.