Algorithms for Lunar Flash Video Search, Measurement, and Archiving

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Abstract

Lunar meteoroid impact flashes provide a method to estimate the flux of the large meteoroid flux and thus their hazard to spacecraft. Although meteoroid impacts on the Moon have been detected using video methods for over a decade, the difficulty of manually searching hours of video for the rare, extremely brief impact flashes has discouraged the technique's systematic implementation. A prototype has been developed for the purpose of automatically searching lunar video records for impact flashes, eliminating false detections, editing the returned possible flashes, and archiving and documenting the results. Several utilities for measurement, analysis, and location of the flashes on the moon included in the program are demonstrated. Application of the program to a year's worth of lunar observations is discussed along with examples of impact flashes.

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