Pi Gazing is a project to build meteor cameras using Raspberry Pi computers connected to CCTV cameras which are directed upwards to record the night sky.
The Raspberry Pi computer analyses the video feed in real time to search for moving objects, recording the tracks of shooting stars, as well as satellites and aircraft. We also see rarer phenomena: lightning strikes, fireworks, and Iridian flares, caused by glints of light from solar panels on spacecraft.
The cameras also take a series of long-exposure still photos each night. These are used by the software to determine the direction the camera is pointing in, as well as to calibrate any distortions which may be present in the lens used.
These still images also allow you to watch how the constellations circle overhead as the night progresses, or how they change with the seasons. You can see the changing phases of the Moon, or watch the planets move across the sky.
On this website, you can browse the entire archive of observations recorded by our cameras.
The program code and hardware designs that we use are all open source, and you can find them on GitHub here.