Exoss Citizen Science is a nonprofit organization located in Brazil whose goal is to monitor and study meteors using the scientific method, to understand the nature of these bodies, their origin and characterization of their orbit, exploring the southern sky by identifying new radiants. The monitoring of meteors grew in importance to study the nature of the many fragments that bombard the Earth’s atmosphere on a daily basis. The studies performed by the monitoring network contributes enormously to public and private organizations related with the study of Astronomy.
The initiative started with the union of astronomers both professionals and amateurs, associates and scientific collaborators committed to volunteer working and the development of the team as a whole. The proactivity, collaborative spirit, honesty, respect, commitment with efficiency and the citizen participation are the true values of the team. Adopting the “Citizen Science” concept, it tries to grant the opportunity of scientific research to be performed by an amateur scientist as well, the citizen scientist. The participation of the citizen scientist helps keeping search for new discoveries, targeting the study of new evidences.
The goal of the project is to produce low cost-high quality science, performing data acquisition (meteor footage) using CCTV (Closed Circuit of TV) with a dedicated software, that is a simple technic called video monitoring. To make the data suitable for analysis it is necessary the strategic placing of cameras, to acquire enough pairing of a same event to contribute to a more accurate study.
The pairing is the recording of the same meteor entrance by two cameras or more. The cameras are placed in distance and aimed to a same direction of the sky. When an event happens, the cameras record it simultaneously but with a different sky background. This visual effect is called parallax. With that, the pairings result on a high chance of measuring the trajectory, velocity, initial and final height, direction, and even the probable landing site.
Registering meteors is only the starting point of the astrometric and astrophysical studies. The data acquired are used for the study of radiants, being preserved and analyzed cautiously, giving the most precise result possible. Other atmospheric events like sprites are also registered by the cameras.
Today the network has a total of 30 members and 50 active stations distributed among 8 Brazilian states. The goal is to cover the most part of the southern sky, resulting in a more reliable data for the study.
Projects and partners
Exoss in linked to The IMPACTON project (Mapping and Research of Near Earth Asteroids Initiative by the National Observatory, direct translation). It is an astronomical observatory located in the sertão at Itacuruba-PE, dedicated to the research of small bodies of the Solar System. The data acquired by the network, together with the studies of comets and asteroids at IMPACTON, will be analyzed by the National Observatory. With that the Exoss project reaches one of its goals: the direct collaboration between research institutes and society.
Exoss has been able to share in real time the recordings of the events monitored by all the network stations spread all over Brazil, providing three software tools: Live, Analyzer helper and the Report fireball.
- The live is provided so that every person can follow the recording of events in real time, see the registered meteor showers, next events, a gallery with the most spectacular recordings, coverage map, news, and other functionalities.
- The Analyzer helper aims the quality verification of the data acquired through the record and analysis softwares, before the resulting files are sent to the database.
- The Report fireball (in collaboration with the AMS and IMO) allows any person to report a fireball, meteor or any unusual shining object in the sky. The data will be analyzed, when then will be able to contribute on the research over the event.
English version by Leonardo Sathler
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