07 January 2014

Australia Develops Cell Phone App for Meteors! - Australians Check it Out! Today 2014!

Australians Check it Out Today 2014! 
Support Australian Meteor/Meteorite Research!
The Birth of a New Era in Australian Meteor Research; Become a Part of the Project!
-LunarMeteoriteHunter in cooperation with the Desert Fireball Network and Curtin University, Australia.
Desert Fireball Network "link"
Curtain University "link"
Fireballs in the Sky: an iOS and Android app that allows anyone to report a fireball sighting anywhere in the world from their phone.

Fireballs in the Sky (iOS/Android) - Curtin University
Uploaded to YouTube byThoughtWorks 438 views

When you open the app, go to ‘report a sighting’. Simply point at the sky where the fireball started and click on your phone (a heads-up display and star background help orient you), and do the same for where it ended. You can then input a variety of other data, gradually building up an animation of the fireball that you witnessed based on duration; fragmentation colour; brightness etc. If we get enough observations we can determine a trajectory and send that information back to the you. The goal is to give members of the public a way of participating in research via their own observations, while also collecting data that has real scientific value. The app is free and available for iPhone at https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/fireballs-in-the-sky/id709019924?mt=8 and Android at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tw.fireballs (or just search for ‘fireballs in the sky’ on app stores).

All the raw data will be shared with any local groups (amateur societies or research organisations) that would like to participate in the project, to help with triangulation or searching for specific events. If you’re interested in participating please send us your details and we’ll include you on the app as a collaborator organisation with links to your website. The goal is to engage members of the public and get useful data on more fireball events. We want to share the data with you. Get in touch and get involved.

The main network project is funded by the Australian Research Council and is called the Desert Fireball Network. In a nutshell, having a network in a desert makes it more likely that we can find the meteorites. We’ll be putting 50-60 all-sky cameras throughout regional and remote areas of Australia. We’ve just installed the first 5. Additional information about the project can be found at: http://www.fireballsinthesky.com.au/. The website right now is bare-bones. We’ll be upgrading it early next year with an interactive map that will let users click on cameras and download images directly.
Best wishes,
Phil Bland
BSc(Hons) PhD
Australian Laureate Fellow | Science & Engineering
Professor | Applied Geology
Western Australian School of Mines
About Dr. Phil Bland-
Phil started out as a geologist, and pretty much got into meteorites by chance. It’s not something he’s ever regretted. He has interests in many areas in planetary science, but mainly in trying to understand the record of the origin and evolution of the solar system contained in ancient meteorites.

The comparison he makes is with geology in the late 1950’s. Plate tectonics – geology’s grand unifying theory – was just around the corner, but no-one knew it. All they had was a lot of data that didn’t really fit together very well. Planetary science today is at a similar point. We know how the Earth works, but we don’t know how it was made. The idea behind the Desert Fireball Network is really just basic geology – you need to know where rocks come from in order to understand them. The possibility that if we get this data for meteorites, that that might be a big part of the puzzle, is something he finds really exciting.

Phil has worked at a bunch of places, most recently Imperial College London. He spent many years trying to get funding for the trial phase of the Desert Fireball Network. After proving that the concept worked, Phil started at Curtin in May 2012 with funding from an ARC Laureate Fellowship and Curtin University to expand the network across Australia. The Desert Fireball Network team will be spending the next few years doing just that, and sharing what they’re doing with you.
2014 The Year of CERTAIN Uncertainty; Meteors, Asteroids, Comets, and MORE!!

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