A History of the Sky by Murphlab

This is a work in progress. Currently, an image of the sky is being captured every 10 seconds from a camera installed on the roof of the Exploratorium, on the edge of San Francisco Bay. The images collected over each 24-hour period are assembled into a 6 minute movie (at 24 frames/second).


The Camera Rig

The rig consists of an old four-megapixel compact digital camera controlled by a small, low-power computer. The computer is a Soekris net4801, on which Ubuntu Linux is installed. The hardware is intended for use as a general-purpose networking computer, but it works perfectly for this job, as it has a USB port, and ethernet ports (remote access is a requirement). This system has 4GB of Compact Flash storage, enough for several days’ images. The software controlling the camera is gPhoto, an open-source image capture application.

This all fits inside of a NEMA Type 3 enclosure, salvaged from a junk yard. 


Visit Murphlab for full details

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