We are proud to announce that the StAnD camera prototype has detected its very first meteor!

The excitement started on 21 April, and we are now able to release the animation of the detection, thanks to the hard work of the StAnD team at Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica. These images were acquired on 21 April 2024 at 23:48 UT by the prototype of the all-sky camera that will be used by the participants of the StAnD project. This prototype is currently located in Tuscany, at the AMSA – Osservatorio Astronomico Comunale di Roselle, one of the participants of the Italian PRISMA Fireball Network.

First Meteor Detected by StAnD Prototype Camera
First Meteor Detected by StAnD Prototype Camera

The meteor lasted almost 1 second and was quite faint, compared to the target of observations for StAnD cameras.

At its maximum intensity, the meteor reached an apparent magnitude of -3.5, in other words, six times brighter than the brightest star in the night sky (Sirius) and only four times fainter than Venus at its maximum intensity (in winter time).

Indeed, a meteor of this intensity is produced by a meteoroid (a small rocky body that impacts the Earth’s atmosphere) with a slight mass of only a few to tens of grams. Such a small body is not able to reach the ground and is completely consumed during its flight, and therefore does not reach the ground.

We are also interested in detecting very bright meteors (fireballs or bolides) that are generated by kilogram-sized meteoroids that can reach the Earth’s surface before being completely consumed, causing the fall of meteorites to the ground.

Follow us to find out more about these fascinating visitors–or, even better–join us and integrate StAnD into your lessons!