AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 15 Astronomical Instruments
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-6:30pm, Tuesday, 10:00am-7:00pm, May 30, 2005, Ballroom A

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[15.08] A Search for Naked-Eye Optical Transients Using the Night Sky Live Global Network

L. Shamir, R. J. Nemiroff (Michigan Technological University), Night Sky Live Collaboration

Anecdotal evidence indicates the presence of short-duration optical transients that are bright enough to be momentarily visible to the naked eye. One clear example is SN 1987A. Scientific discovery of other bright astronomical transients, whether related or unrelated to supernovae, novae, or GRBs, would be not only interesting by itself, but allow follow-up by even small telescopes. However, with the historical absence of a sustainable system constantly monitoring the entire night sky, one can reasonably assume that many of the short timescale transients are not reported.

Covering as much as 90 time, the Night Sky Live (NSL) all-sky monitoring network of CONCAMs provides an infrastructure capable of detecting or limiting the existence of bright transients in real-time. CONCAMs typically take fisheye exposures every 236 seconds and upload them to the public NSL web site. NSL software that incorporates fuzzy logic analyzes each frame, rejects cosmic ray hits and bright planets, and searches for optical transients by comparing the exposure to a canonical frame taken at the same sidereal time. The alert system is adaptable but currently triggers on persistent transients that rotate with the sky for at least 12 minutes (3 NSL exposures), or transients that are detected simultaneously by several Night Sky Live nodes covering the same portion of the sky. Currently, the Night Sky Live network can detect an optical transient as dim as visual magnitude five.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://nightskylive.net. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: lshamir@mtu.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.