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aurora borealis photons

Posted on 2013-11-26
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Last Modified: 2014-01-13
I am looking for some photocell device who can detect the green light. I will use it to detect Aurora Borealis for some hotels here in north Iceland.

Any ideas ?
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Question by:soffcec
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LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 1002 total points
ID: 39678652
See http://www.keteu.org/~haunma/aurora/

You can follow the links on that page to sign up for alarms for the Aurora or you can possibly build an alarm by clicking on the Tech link of that page.  It uses a Photo multiplier tuber rather than a photo cell but all of the gory details can be found following the Tech link and onwards from there.
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by:soffcec
ID: 39679537
I took a look at that page some months ago. I am looking for something newer. Maybe a camera who can see the faint light of Aurora.
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LVL 49

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by:dbrunton
ID: 39683194
Looking at a number of sites that talk about photographing the Aurora they all seem to be using manual settings rather than the automatic features.  Time settings of anything from 10 seconds to a couple of minutes.

So it seems there's not enough light for them to meter the Aurora.  So I suspect you won't be able to use a photocell to do  it.


This page http://aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk/detectors/ talks about building your own detectors (magnetometers).
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Author Comment

by:soffcec
ID: 39684028
I already took look at this page. It must be automatic. I think if I use camera open as long as necessary I will get colourful picture who I can parse automaticly and count the strength of the green colour. I just need to find the right camera.
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Assisted Solution

by:Merete
Merete earned 498 total points
ID: 39688103
Here's an article that might help you:
they are both very good. Alaska.
How to photograph the northern lights with a digital camera
 My personal choice is the Canon.
Hard to choose between them but I recently bought a Nikon and has quite a learning curb the inbuilt options is pretty cool.
Depends on your budget and knowledgebase.
It's amazing what you can achieve with a sound background understanding of lighting .
then there is freezing cold to take into account.
extract from above link :
Canon cameras, Currently the 5D Mark III, which is an outstanding high ISO performing camera.
I sourced this for you
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/standard_display/Explore_5DMK3
Canon’s other digital SLR’s are excellent options as well.
I dedicate and entire chapter to this in my eBook.THE IMPORTANCE OF ISO When photographing the aurora, high ISO capability is critical.

Chasing The Aurora Borealis how to shooting what camera and gear required
Chasing The Aurora Borealis - Outdoor Photographer | OutdoorPhotographer.com
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Author Comment

by:soffcec
ID: 39709328
I have Nikon d3200 and if I could find software to control the camera via USB e.g. take pictures and config the camera I would be on the right way.
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LVL 49

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by:
dbrunton earned 1002 total points
ID: 39709432
There are units to connect to your camera to enable remote firing and and picture download from camera eg ML-L3 remote control and the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter.

However the type of control you are asking for is called tethering.

See http://digicamcontrol.com/ for software that is free and works with your model.

Also see http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4176 for Mac

Also see http://nikonrumors.com/2013/05/11/free-open-source-tethering-software-for-nikon-dslr-cameras.aspx/ and http://www.diyphotobits.com/download-diyphotobitscom-camera-control/ and http://www.tethertools.com/plugging-in/software/ for more possible software options.
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