Astronomical and geophysical observatory in Modra, Slovakia

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Info about the observatory


Astronomical observatory
P.O.Box 4
900 01 Modra
tel.: +421 336475261


17°,27402056 E


48°,37327278 N


531.10 m

MPC code:


AMOS Video Meteor Network

Development and establishment of AMOS all-sky video meteor cameras, as well as narrow-field video spectral cameras and creation of the Slovak Video Meteor Network led to the next target - the establishment of the worldwide meteor detection network. Even though there are multiple existing networks around the world, particularly in Europe, North America, Japan, Brazil, Australia, some areas of the globe remain without the coverage. This may particularly lead to a miss of short-living meteor shower with an activity of only hours. Continuous global coverage is also important for uninterrupted monitoring of major meteor showers and sporadic background. The latest still images from active cameras are available for preview. AMOS camera consists of fish-eye lens, image intensifier, digital video camera (frame rate 20/sec), operating computer with hard-drive, weatherproof enclosure, humidity and light sensors. The software used for transient detection is UFOCapture and for meteor orbit derivation UFOAnalyzer by SonotaCo. The software is being replaced by own improved proprietary software.


Current locations of AMOS cameras (red) : 4 cameras are in Slovakia (SVMN), 2 on Canary Islands (La Palma, Tenerife), 2 in Chile (San Pedro de Atacama, Paniri Cau - Chiu-Chiu). Planned locations (blue) in Hawaii, Namibia and Australia.

Therefore, we started to deploy AMOS cameras around the world. Initially, 4 cameras (since 2010) created a network in Slovakia (SVMN - Modra, Tesárske Mlyňany, Kysucké Nové Mesto, Važec).

Composite image of Perseid meteor shower on Aug 12/13, 2013 by AMOS.
Transient Luminous Event - Sprite - captured by AMOS in the upper right corner of the field.

In the next step, two cameras were installed in 2015 on Canary Islands - on Roque de los Muchachos observatory, La Palma and Teide, Tenerife. Both sites are on superb location, 2400 meters above sea level, with excellent seeing and low cloud coverage. The mutual distance is 143 km.


Next giant leap was the installation of two cameras on the Southern Hemisphere, in Chile in 2016. Stations are installed at Paniri Cau Observatory, Chiu-Chiu and San Pedro de Atacama, 83 km apart. Chilean stations are more than 2400 m above sea level, also in excellent observing locations, with dark skies and low cloud coverage.

Installation of AMOS in Chile.

Milky way seen on a still image from AMOS in Chile, San Pedro.


Meteor orbits can be derived when a meteor is observed at least from two stations at a distance where parallax allows measurement of the meteor trajectory in the atmosphere and derivation of the heliocentric orbit. We store our orbits in the Edmond database. Orbits of the meteors, coming from showers or the sporadic background, can be associated with the parent comets and asteroids. Also, the total flux of the meteoroid particles is particularly interesting for space agencies to assess the impact risk for their satellites. Meteor spectra and light curves are used for physical characterization of observed meteors, that can either reveal composition of Earth's atmosphere, molecules in the meteoroid particle and total strength of the matter of meteoroid.

Associated publications:

  1. Tóth J., Kornoš L., Vereš, P., Šilha, J., Kalmančok D., Zigo P., Világi J.: 2011, All-sky video orbits of Lyrids 2009, Publ. Astron. Soc. Japan, 63, 311-314.
  2. Hajduková, M., Kornoš, L., Tóth, J. 2014, Frequency of hyperbolic and interstellar meteoroids, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 49, 63-68
  3. Rudawska, R., Zender, J., Jenniskens, P., Vaubaillon, J., Koten, P., Margonis, A., Tóth, J., McAuliffe, J., Koschny, D.: 2014, Spectroscopic Observations of the 2011 Draconids Meteor Shower, Earth, Moon, and Planets, 112, 1-4, 45-57
  4. Koten, P., Vaubaillon, J., Tóth, J., Margonis, A., Ďuriš, F.: 2014, Three Peaks of 2011 Draconid Activity Including that Connected with Pre-1900 Material, Earth, Moon, and Planets, 112, 1-4, 15-31
  5. Vaubaillon J., Koten P., Margonis A., Toth J. et al., 2015, The 2011 Draconids first European airborne meteor observation campaign, Earth, Moon, and Planets, 114, 3-4, 137-157
  6. Rudawska R., Matlovič P., Tóth J., Kornoš L., Independent identification of meteor showers in EDMOND database, Planetary and Space Science, 118, 2015, 38-47
  7. Kornoš L., Tóth J., Porubčan V., Klačka J., Nagy R., Rudawska R., On the orbital evolution of the Lyrid meteoroid stream, Planetary and Space Science, 118, 2015, 48-53
  8. Tóth J., Kornoš L.,  Zigo P., Gajdoš Š., Kalmančok D., Világi J., Šimon J., Vereš P., Šilha J., Buček M., Galád A., Rusňák P., Hrábek P., Ďuriš F., Rudawska R., All-sky Meteor Orbit System AMOS and preliminary analysis of three unusual meteor showers, Planetary and Space Science, 118, 2015, 102-106
  9. Koten P., Vaubaillon J., Margonis A., Tóth J., Ďuriš F., McAulliffe J., Oberst J., Double station observation of Draconid meteor outburst from two moving aircraft, Planetary and Space Science, 118, 2015, 112-119
  10. Rudawska R., Tóth J., Kalmančok D., Zigo P., Matlovič P., Meteor spectra from AMOS video system, Planetary and Space Science, 123, 2016, 25-26
  11. Hajduková, M., Jr., Koten, P., Kornos, L., Tóth, J., Meteoroid orbits from video meteors. The case of the Geminid stream, Planetary and Space Science, 143, 89-98
  12. Matlovic, P., Tóth, J., Rudawska, R., Kornos, L, Spectra and physical properties of Taurid meteoroids, Planetary and Space Science, 143, 104-115

Future endeavors

We plan to expand our network around the world to increase the longitudinal coverage of Earth. We are particularly interested in sites that do not have any meteor coverage and offer these minimum requirements: dark skies, low cloud coverage, electricity and internet connection, accessibility by road, and occasional light maintenance.

Grant support: APVV-0517-12, Slovak Research and Development Agency.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Juraj Tóth

Host Institution: Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia


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