I was talking to a friend yesterday about my trip to CERN as a member of Flamsteed and relating that one of the most interesting exhibits there was a large array of red LEDs that was mirroring the real-time detection and direction of energetic particles being detected by a scintillation chamber. These particles (muons) are mainly produced by the interaction between cosmic rays and atoms in the earth’s upper atmosphere. I was amazed by the number of muons detected each minute and it was a sobering thought to think of the number of these particles we are exposed to each day. We were discussing the possibility of building a similar detector when he mention that there is an app you can download that turns the camera chip in your smart phone into a cosmic ray detector. There is also a data logger app which allows you to upload your detection data to a central database for global correlation.
Here are links to the websites where the apps and detection process are explained in greater detail.
Sounds fascinating. But…
DECO currently runs on Android OS devices. We are working on an iOS version that will be launched in 2015.
Crikey, Samsung was onto something when they called their android smartphone, Samsung Galaxy
I cant wait to for my next group stargaze session, showing andromeda galaxy through my telescope, then pulling out my Galaxy s5 smartphone “oh and this is just my cosmic ray detector” 🙂
But seriously, this is really cool. I’ll be glad to take part. However, one thing that will concern me is overheating and power consumption of the phone camera. Also, I wonder how long it will take for the available storage space will take to fill up? I wont risk my current phone but I will use my previous galaxy smartphone which still has a reasonable 8mp res sensor.
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