Members of UKMON gathered at London’s famous Natural History Museum on 18th November 2017 for its third collaboration meeting. UKMON is all about collaboration; we bring together amateur and professional astronomers with a common interest in meteor science and provide a platform to share knowledge and experience.
The agenda was fast paced and wide ranging with UKMON business kept to a minimum. The intent was to stimulate interest in new areas of meteor science and generate ideas for the future direction of UKMON. In this respect the day was a huge success.
The morning session opened with a presentation by Richard Kacerek on the current status of the network. One of the key points of interest was the how pan-European collaboration is making possible ‘big data’ opportunities for exploration of meteor observations and the scale of the data gives even simple radiant plots huge WOW factor.
Anita Kapilla from William Perkin School, C of E High School (North London) presented some of the science projects undertaken by her students. Importantly, she impressed on us just how important it is that groups like ours offer their support to schools. Anita’s dedication to her students was plain to see and it was remarkable what she had helped her students achieve:
Talks on two internal projects then followed. Steve Bosley (HAG) introduced us to the possibility of automating the analysis of meteors (especially useful for those running multiple cameras) and Peter Campbell Burns opened the afternoon session with a talk on Orbital Similarity. In his talk Peter presented some initial analysis of the accuracy of orbital classification by UFO Orbit based on Perseid meteors.
Jim Rowe gave a talk on Fripon and SCAMP, SCAMP being the UK spin-off. SCAMP is part of an international effort to recover meteorites that are seen to fall and to pair them with their pre-entry orbits.
Richard Kacerek then returned to the front and revealed some soon to be released improvements to the UKMON data archive; the new archive will simplify the process of uploading data and will provide new ways to access the data including online searches from the UKMON web site. Also in the pipeline is a new system of alerting and data sharing for major meteor events.
At this point the meeting was handed over to professional meteor scientists. Dr Ashley King gave a presentation on the work of the Natural History Museum in relation to meteor science. He then handed over to Luke Daly and Maartijn Suttle who presented on the Australian Desert Fireball Project. What was particularly interesting was the advanced software techniques employed by the Desert Fireball Network (including Neural Networks to remove false detections) and there was some excitement when it was revealed that that similar technology was to be deployed in the UK.
Throughout the day there were many touch-points where member’s interests were piqued and it was evident that stronger links were forged between members. Drinks in a nearby bar afterwards enabled common interests and individual projects to be explored further.
UKMON would like to thank Dr Ashley King and The National History Museum for hosting the meeting, and all attendees some of whom made long journeys to be part of this event. The UKMON team has a lot to digest following this meeting with so many new things to explore.
You can also download presentations from our meeting.
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