FMI All-Sky Cameras - Imaging the Auroras
Space Plasma Physics research utilises all-sky cameras (ASCs) for imaging the aurora borealis, the Northern Lights. All-sky cameras use special optical elements such as fish-eye lenses or spherical mirrors to acquire an image of the whole sky in one shot (hence the name). One ASC image covers a circular area with a diameter of about 600 km at 110 km altitude. Finnish Meteorological Institute operates several all-sky cameras in wintertime with the main scientific interest of long-term auroral observations in Finland.
The old mirror cameras (1973-1998) took pictures on "ordinary" film. They were replaced with digital intensified all-sky cameras during the years 1996-1997. Three colour imagers and two electron multiplication CCD (emCCD) cameras became a part of the MIRACLE network in the at beginning of the new millenium.
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