FMI All-Sky Cameras

MIRACLE All-Sky Cameras - Imaging the Auroras

All-sky cameras (ASC) that are used for imaging auroral borealis have 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 (FMI) and Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (SGO) of University of Oulu operate several all-sky cameras in wintertime with the scientific objective to collect long-term auroral observations in Finland.

The old FMI cameras that use "ordinary" film were used between the years 1973-1997. The old cameras were replaced with digital cameras during the years 1996-1997 and SGO joined the network with their first digital camera in 2001. In 2007 FMI and SGO updated the network with colour imagers and with two electron multiplication CCD (emCCD) cameras. Italian research institutes under CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) have supported MIRACLE with their ASC station in Ny Ålesund, Svalbard since 1998.

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