Astronomy Cafe – Oct 24, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • The Moon over Paris – Randy Enkin
    • A photo tour of Paris featuring the Moon
  • Sky Brightness Survey 2022 – David Lee
    • Preliminary results
    • Data cleaning using R programming language
    • Next steps
    • Spectral response of LEDs and SQM readings
    • Discussion
  • Seeing Beyond video – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman
    • Manifesto of what will happen once Artemis 1 is launched
    • Colonizing the solar system will change mindsets of the population at large
    • Seeing Beyond – better quality video and audio on Nerd Anomaly channel
    • Seeing Beyond soundtrack
    • Discussion
  • Gamma Ray Burst – Randy Enkin
    • Gamma Ray Burst 221009A – event just happened on Oct 9th
    • Initial detection and follow-up observations continuing
    • Discussion
  • Announcements
    • Astronomy Cafe next week is Halloween, so no in-person event – Zoom virtual meeting will be hosted by 
    • Lunar Eclipse on Nov 7/8
    • 2023 RASC Calendars – email Lauri Roche to reserve a copy. Explore the Universe and Explore the Moon workbooks are also available.
    • Skynews editor has retired and new editor is hired, so combined with printing problems, there will be delayed delivery of the next issue.
    • Various reports from Bill Weir

The Life and Times of the Sky Quality Meter (SQM) – Doug Welch – Feb 21, 2022

Posted by as Meetings

Presentation video

RASC Victoria Centre AGM Speaker:  The Life and Times of the Sky Quality Meter (SQM) – Doug Welch, Unihedron

  • 2005 first SQM manufactured
  • Anthony Tekatch
    • co-inventor of SQM
    • PCB design, app coder (Unihedron Device Manager), production of all meters, user support
  • IR limiting filter in front of sensor
  • SQM-L – handheld +- 20º viewing angle
  • SQM-LU – USB connected device, continuous monitor, light pollution surveys with GPS 
  • SQM-L-DL – data logger, runs for about a month on AA batteries
  • SQM-LE – PoE Ethernet device, can function as a cloud monitor
    • Website illustrates the cloud sensing function
  • 10,000 SQM devices being used
  • Used for mapping night sky quality worldwide, with lots of published studies
  • Sea turtle light trespass use case
  • Car-based mobile light pollution surveys – using a SQM-LU & computer
  • Q&A
    • Victoria Centre teams mapped light pollution in our area back in 2010 – Sid Sidhu & David Lee
    • Can interface to Raspberry Pi with Python code
    • Is it weather proof? No, but a weather enclosure is available which copes with most conditions
    • Are the various models interoperable? Yes, all SQMs are calibrated before shipping. 
    • Milky Way can affect readings by 0.2 in southern hemisphere, 0.1 in the northern hemisphere
    • Driving technique – stop then take reading is recommended
    • Magnitudes/square second? It’s a logarithmic surface brightness number. Darkest are 22, meter saturates at 6 (not daytime).
    • Has the SQM been useful in reducing light pollution? Yes, promoting dark areas and encouraging change.
    • Discussion about measuring darkness from a very dark site and the contribution of the Milky Way in that case