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Beyonder
2007-Jul-20, 03:57 PM
I know virtually nothing about astronomy so I don't know what am I looking at in these pics, but hopefully someone can explain...why are there two suns?

Anyway here are the pics...

http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20060410/20060410194800.jpg

http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20060901/20060901195200.jpg

grant hutchison
2007-Jul-20, 04:11 PM
Blimey.:confused:
The separation and shape are wrong for a sundog, and the position is wrong for a sun-pillar effect. It would be a very odd mirage that displaced the sun horizontally rather than vertically.
The secondary sun is producing a "glade" in the water in the first picture, which suggests it's an actual light source beyond the horizon, and not being generated in the camera optics.

I dunno. I confess that my first impulse on seeing these is to mention the word "Photoshop" ...
Did you take them yourself? If so, did you see a "double sun" at the time you took them, or did the appearance turn up only when you looked at the photos?

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2007-Jul-20, 04:21 PM
So, after a quick web search, it seems they're allegedly from a webcam in Vancouver (http://www.katkam.ca/), and are being touted here and there as supporting evidence for some sort of woo science. The webcam site states that the cam is usually orientated to observe the sunset, so over time it presumably generates a large number of similar views with the sun at slightly different positions along the horizon as the seasons progress.
"Photoshop" is beginning to seem rather likely to me.

Grant Hutchison

phunk
2007-Jul-20, 04:22 PM
Lense flare?

01101001
2007-Jul-20, 04:31 PM
Up high, the photographer was. (Edit: Now I see, above, it was robot camera.) Was it shot from the room of a building? (Edit: Or a housing with a glass window?) Through window glass? Was the surface of the window glass parallel to the roadway and other buildings' windows in the photo?

If so, I'd say you got a slightly offset internal reflection from the plate glass window, reflections off the two surfaces of the glass, weak but noticeable when the light was from a really bright source.

Topic Someone help refute this? (http://www.bautforum.com/against-mainstream/14492-someone-help-refute.html#post306845) discusses similar shots of double-moons taken from an automated camera at the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton.

grant hutchison
2007-Jul-20, 04:39 PM
Up high, the photographer was. (Edit: Now I see, above, it was robot camera.) Was it shot from the room of a building? (Edit: Or a housing with a glass window?) Through window glass? Was the surface of the window glass parallel to the roadway and other building's windows in the photo?From the cam webpage:
The view is (hopefully) a current snap from one of the windows at the TSI office.So an offset internal reflection from the window glass seems like a good possibility. :)
What still sways me slightly towards conspiracy and photoshopping is how neatly the secondary sunglade seems to disappear behind the tree in the first image. But that may just be a fortuitous match between the shape of the tree and the shape of the building next to it, so that the optically displaced glade just happens to look right.

Grant Hutchison

01101001
2007-Jul-20, 04:44 PM
[...] it seems they're allegedly from a webcam in Vancouver (http://www.katkam.ca/)


Entire contents of this web site are copyright 1996-2007 Telemark Systems Inc.
Permission granted to save and store these images for personal non-profit use only.
Any other use requires authorization.

I suggest changing the inline hotlinked images to plain links to source images.

Beyonder
2007-Jul-20, 04:54 PM
I've changed the images to links...

The website these pics came from is www.katkam.ca and has been online for many years. The site uses a webcam to take photos every few minutes...The pics I have linked to are on their site and haven't been edited as far as I know. You can actually go to the site and if you enter the date as stamped on the photos you can see that they are still online.

I initially saw them on the forum of the website www.godlikeproductions.com and the original poster used them to reference 'planet x'......

They do look strange, and there are similar pics on the site from different years...

grant hutchison
2007-Jul-20, 04:56 PM
They do seem to be original images archived on the webcam page, and in both cases part of a sequence of "double sun" images. Either someone has been very busy, or I'm wrong about the Photoshop!
So I'm now with 01101001's explanation. :)

Grant Hutchison

Tog
2007-Jul-20, 05:03 PM
I've been looking for another sunset that might show the same thing and I'm struck by what seems to be the absolute rarity of a semi clear night in Vancouver.

Beyonder
2007-Jul-20, 05:11 PM
I agree, they are very strange photos. I originally saw them linked by a user on the www.godlikeproductions.com forum. The user used them to reference a possible appearance of 'planet x'.....

I'm just wondering why astronomers world-wide haven't seen anything, if there truely is a 'planet x' ?

01101001
2007-Jul-20, 05:25 PM
Some of the archived images (like this one (http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20070716/20070716220000.jpg)) show that the bright bridge lights have less bright companion lights near them. I can't readily figure out the geometry, though. Most of the lamp ghosts are to the right, but a lamp on the right seems to have 2 ghosts to the left.

Oh, it looks like farther left where the angle might be more extreme, the ghosts appear farther right of their sources. Lamps toward the middle, where the glass might be at less of an angle, have closer ghosts. And at the extreme right, where the glass may present a very low angle, maybe you don't even see that flat-glass ghost -- but do notice internal reflections from the lens, producing multiple ghosts to the left.

I don't suppose anyone can find a diagram of the camera and any windows it is shooting through. I couldn't.

Anyway, I think it's pretty clear there are some internal reflections being captured -- unless every streetlight has a companion UFO or two hovering near it.

loglo
2007-Jul-20, 06:41 PM
I agree, they are very strange photos. I originally saw them linked by a user on the www.godlikeproductions.com forum. The user used them to reference a possible appearance of 'planet x'.....

I'm just wondering why astronomers world-wide haven't seen anything, if there truely is a 'planet x' ?

Most of them wait for the sun to go down before they start looking for it? :whistle::lol:

01101001
2007-Jul-20, 07:12 PM
Someone help refute this? (http://www.bautforum.com/against-mainstream/14492-someone-help-refute.html#post306845)

And don't miss, there, the smoking-gun image of Planet X from the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy Mount Wilson webcam (http://home.austin.rr.com/victorsvaliant/towercam.jpg).

Jeff Root
2007-Jul-20, 08:15 PM
Some of the archived images (like this one (http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20070716/20070716220000.jpg))
show that the bright bridge lights have less bright companion lights
near them. I can't readily figure out the geometry, though. Most of
the lamp ghosts are to the right, but a lamp on the right seems to
have 2 ghosts to the left.

Oh, it looks like farther left where the angle might be more extreme, the
ghosts appear farther right of their sources. Lamps toward the middle,
where the glass might be at less of an angle, have closer ghosts. And at
the extreme right, where the glass may present a very low angle, maybe
you don't even see that flat-glass ghost -- but do notice internal
reflections from the lens, producing multiple ghosts to the left.
That appears to be correct. The ghost images are caused by a
double-paned window. The light passes through the outer pane,
reflects off the outside surface of the inner pane, then reflects
again from the inside suface of the outer pane, and continues on
toward the camera. You can see exactly the same thing by eyeball,
without a camera. Light passing perpendicularly through both panes
to the eye/camera is not shifted to the side when reflected, but is
superimposed on the light which passes directly through without
being reflected, so you can't see the reflected image. The farther
off the perpendicular (or "normal") axis, the farther the reflected
image will be shifted to one side (or up or down).

Look at some lights through a double-paned window tonight, and
you will probably see the effect. I think it's easier to see by eye
than in a photo, but it's also easy to ignore if you aren't actually
looking for it.

It's possible to have reflections from the inner and outer surfaces
of a single pane of glass, but I think this one is double-paned.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Beyonder
2007-Jul-20, 10:11 PM
I have a few more photos which were posted by the original poster which I downloaded to my PC. I have checked the dates on katkam but nothing is displayed so it seems like they have been removed. I will sort them out and upload them.

Beyonder
2007-Jul-20, 10:17 PM
Here are the pics. What I find interesting about two of them is that the 'second sun' is actually setting...a lens flare or reflection wouldn't cause this.....:confused::confused:


5872

5873

5874

01101001
2007-Jul-20, 10:36 PM
Here are the pics. What I find interesting about two of them is that the 'second sun' is actually setting...a lens flare or reflection wouldn't cause this...

Wow. Interesting? Confusing? I was going to offer that up as corroboration that it was a reflection. As the sun begins to go behind the horizon, the ghost image becomes a hemisphere -- exactly because it is an internal reflection of the setting sun. It's a dimmer copy.

Are you sort of wedded to the idea that the ghost is some other body? Is it a strong belief? Why?

What do you make of the ghost images accompanying each bright bridge lamp? Isn't that strong evidence that the camera is recording bright lights and their internal reflections?

===

Edit: PS, I threw together this quick schematic of what I envision is the situation that may be generating the internal reflection, in case my word description is lacking. Help?

5875

01101001
2007-Jul-21, 05:25 AM
Here are the pics.

5872

5873

5874

Still at the katcam.ca (http://www.katkam.ca/) website, from several different days:

http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20060802/20060802202800.jpg
http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20060911/20060901195400.jpg
http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20060902/20060902195200.jpg

Here for instance, we can look at a slightly later image to one of your sunsets (before the fireworks on the water), and look at the bridge lights, say of this image:
http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20060802/20060802212200.jpg
nearly an hour after the first image above, on 2006 08 02.

Let me crop some bridge lights from that and mark up the result. OK. I've marked street lamps with yellow arrows, their ghost reflections with green arrows, and ghosts of the ghosts, secondary reflections, with blue arrows. For comparison, I've included an insert lower left of the "double sun" from 20:28, with similar markings for the source and reflection (click to enlarge):

5879

Do you see the similarity between the streetlights' ghost images and the sun's ghost image? Don't you expect that the ghost reflections arise for the same reason? It's got to be produced by the optics of the camera system and the window glass.

Beyonder
2007-Jul-21, 12:35 PM
OK, now I can see what you mean. Looking at your evidence it would seem that what you say is correct. /End of mystery!

01101001
2007-Jul-21, 01:25 PM
OK, now I can see what you mean. Looking at your evidence it would seem that what you say is correct. /End of mystery!

Thanks for considering it. I suspect that camera setup is going to provide a record of near endless days of double suns were one to look. That nobody has been remarking that they happen to have a double shadow, nor seen the second object when turning the corner of a building, nor noticed sun number 2 when at the beach looking for the green flash at sunset, nor noticed a pair of white disks while enjoying morning coffee on an overcast day, all help persuade that the camera is "seeing things".

And some astronomers, professonal and amateur, use their special instruments to look toward the sun every day. Announcing a provable, new, large body in the solar system would garner one many times the fame and glory accorded to Mike Brown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_E._Brown) of Caltech for his recent discovery of far distant object Eris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eris_(dwarf_planet)). Who's going to pass up a chance like that?

01101001
2007-Jul-21, 09:26 PM
Bored, I went looking through their "interesting picture" gallery. It's mostly pretty weather and fireworks. Lots of fireworks.

Here's the window washer (http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20070403/20070403111500.jpg); further evidence the camera is peering through plate glass.

Here's what looks like 2 cops talking to a possible bridge jumper (http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20061229/20061229082600.jpg); the reflection of the streetlight caught my eye; it would make a good UFO if we didn't know what it was.

And there is a "sunset gallery", 40-some pages, 64 images per, sunsets, and orange clouds. There are fewer double suns than I expected. The robo-cam must have to get the exposure just right to show it, short enough so the sun doesn't wash out the reflection, long enough so the dim reflection is captured.

Here's something that shows clearly an internal lens reflection (http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20040425/1945.jpg) -- clear in the sequence, anyway: 1 (http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20040425/1915.jpg), 2 (http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20040425/1930.jpg), 3 (http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20040425/1945.jpg). As the sun set, moving toward lens center, so did the reflection move toward lens center. Anyway, it's an example that shows reflections can be captured, and this is certainly a reflection for if it were a celestial body, it would be closer than the distant mountains.

Here's one of the sunset farther south (http://www.katkam.ca/pix/20040322/1830.jpg), with the reflection farther right (jibing with my hypothesis that when the camera points more left, the angle of the glass is greater, and the reflection is offset more). This is a half-set sun, and you can see the shape of the little hill it is moving behind, in both the sun and the sun's reflection. (Why is the sun so much larger than the reflection? The sun is overexposed.)

Argh. My eyeballs are shot and I only made it through about 1/3 of the sunsets. Whoever it was that found those double-sun images first presented, I admire their diligence. I couldn't do it.

I hope someone enjoyed the bits I found.

astromark
2007-Jul-21, 10:00 PM
yep...:) I did. Done and dusted. Well explained as all these things can be.... If you can think laterally and look for the method of deception. No malicious intent here, just plain old confusion.
I wanted to show you all an image of the moon rising above a local volcano., but my technical skills prohibit me posting the link. ( I cant remember where I hid it.), and having never posted a link. Do not know how to. Ha, ha.:)
Just off to the left is a second moon..... yep, double glazing.

Beyonder
2007-Jul-22, 04:04 PM
01101001, thanks for what you've done. I really think the folks over at KatKam should state on their home page that the camera suffers from internal reflections as this is clearly very misleading to viewers.

The old saying 'The camera never lies' is not reliable in this case!

01101001
2007-Jul-22, 04:57 PM
I really think the folks over at KatKam should state on their home page that the camera suffers from internal reflections as this is clearly very misleading to viewers.

Probably every web cam in existence could use that disclaimer. That previous thread I cited (http://www.bautforum.com/against-mainstream/14492-someone-help-refute.html#post306845), about the Mt Hamilton Lick Observatory Ham-Cam, was almost exactly the same issue (though it turned out to have a glass window on its weatherproof housing rather than having a building window in front of the lens). And that thread pointed out that the Mt Wilson camera that inspired the design of the Ham-Cam also had that same issue, and generated the same sort of claims.

If webcams are not shooting through plate glass, they are still going to be vulnerable to internal lens reflections. That's optics. Ain't no perfect camera.

Maybe it should go without saying that mysterious lights captured by camera are more likely bouncing photons than they are wandering planets -- or alien spaceships -- or spirits of the dead. Making all the camera operators suggest such on their sites may be a hopeless task.

However, camera operators who find out their cameras' images are being famously misinterpreted, would be kind to point out how, on their sites, so I agree with your thoughts on KatKam. I think I'll drop them a line and reference this thread. Maybe they'll go for the idea.

(And if I had my druthers about what people do, I'd most rather the rogue-planet proselytizers, and other sorts of similar advocates, stop misleading people about images of this sort.)

Thanks for the puzzle, by the way.

Hat Monster
2007-Jul-22, 10:25 PM
The two images are examples of reflections within a webcam. The surface of a CCD/CMOS is very shiny and can (does) cause reflection. Now most webcams have a lens which is only convex on one side (outer), so the reflection remains undistorted when it reflects back from the lens to the CCD and is imaged.

You'll notice the ghost image is displaced towards the centre of the frame; This will always be the case since the reflection depends on incident normals (duh!)

It's hard to achieve, since the exposure needs to be just so that the subject you want to create a ghost image of is slightly overexposed, but not so much that it bleeds all over the ghost image and obliterates it. Sunset or sunrise and the subject being the sun is an ideal time and, lo, this is what we see images of here.

01101001
2007-Jul-23, 12:07 AM
The two images are examples of reflections within a webcam. The surface of a CCD/CMOS is very shiny and can (does) cause reflection. Now most webcams have a lens which is only convex on one side (outer), so the reflection remains undistorted when it reflects back from the lens to the CCD and is imaged.

So the very rough, totally not to scale, and probably without the correct geometry, schematic would be like this?

5892

Interesting. Thanks.

01101001
2007-Jul-23, 03:20 AM
I think I'll drop them a line and reference this thread. Maybe they'll go for the idea.

I heard back. I'll reproduce the reply only vaguely, as I didn't request permission to copy it. They are well aware of the intense interest in their site by the likes of the denizens of GLP. They are frequently contacted about odd images. In the past they have addressed on their site what people think they are seeing, and explained what it really is.

From my single sample they seem like good folks and appear to understand the situation, and I think I'd probably do about the same as they have done, but maybe with less class, 'cause I wouldn't have the patience.

Tog
2007-Jul-23, 06:58 AM
So the very rough, totally not to scale, and probably without the correct geometry, schematic would be like this?

5892

Interesting. Thanks.
If that's correct, then it would also explain why the lights to the right of the frame have reflections to the left wouldn't it?

01101001
2007-Jul-23, 01:14 PM
If that's correct, then it would also explain why the lights to the right of the frame have reflections to the left wouldn't it?

Yeah, I think the geometry is such that the reflection would always toward the lens center (and never beyond the center like my crowded schematic has it).

The only thing that bothers me slightly is that lens center doesn't seem to be image center. If you draw a line through every light and its ghost, they might all converge at lens center, but my impression is that would be somewhere on the right side of the image. I wonder if the CCD is maybe not centered under the lens, or not parallel to it, or if something else is always cropping the right side.

I just took a bridge-light image and drew the lines through lights and their ghosts:

5895

The rough converging center point for them seems over on the shore on image right (green lines). The lights on the right (red lines), though, don't match that all. They seem to be parallel lines heading far off to the left. I didn't draw them long because they didn't converge (or didn't converge fast). And, then the lights on the right each had 2 reflections, too, to make them different.

So, there's something I still don't understand about the geometry. It wouldn't surprise me if the reflections have more than one cause. Or maybe this webcam lens is just really cheap and irregular.

In the grand scheme, it doesn't matter so much. They are reflections -- off something, somewhere.

01101001
2007-Jul-23, 04:58 PM
Nothing important. I think I've got the camera's home building centered in Google Map aerial view (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&sll=37.296247,-122.015104&sspn=0.029838,0.06403&ie=UTF8&ll=49.275764,-123.133824&spn=0.001529,0.004002&t=h&z=18&om=1). The angles seem right to me.

I was hoping to figure out the angle of the building window glass. I don't think this tactic will work because there appears to be an octagonal structure on the building that might house the camera. There are too many window angles to choose from. That jibes with the comments on the website that says the camera is aimed toward sunset through the year. Having west-facing, northwest and southwest windows to choose from would help that. I suppose I could write and ask but I'm not that curious.

But, just for the record, it is the Burrard Bridge in the sunset images, and the camera probably lives in a tall building on Beach Avenue, near Burrard St. The building is likely "1000 Beach" (real-estate agent data (http://www.lestwarog.com/1000beach/index.html)).