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Paper: Data Mining the MMT All-Sky Camera
Volume: 394, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems (ADASS) XVII
Page: 385
Authors: Stobie, E.; Pickering, T.E.
Abstract: An all-sky camera system has been in continuous operation at the MMT Observatory since March 2005. While the system was relatively inexpensive to build (under $3,500), it has proven to be very robust and an invaluable tool for MMT staff and observers. It records images every 8.5 seconds, yet is still sensitive enough to detect stars down to a visual magnitude of about 6 over a 160deg field of view. In this paper we describe in detail how the data from this system are acquired, analyzed, and archived. The high sensitivity and relatively fast refresh rate of this system makes it very well-suited to detecting transient events. The short exposure time (8.53 sec) allows first difference frames to be created with minimal residual sidereal shift. We discuss the algorithms used to analyze difference images from this system to detect various kinds of tranisent events.
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