Meteor Storm Simulation 'metsim.exe' ==================================== This program displays a meteor storm to investigate visual observing techniques under very high meteor activity. It tries to simulate the situation as accurate as possible. Meteors are displayed as elongated moving objects. They do have different brightnesses, light curves, velocities, directions, persistent trains, etc as in reality. The sequence of shooting stars is computed with an exponential distribution. Thus, the often reported 'cluster effects' become clearly visible. A number of background stars make the display more realistic. The software is available via anonymous from IMO's ftp server at ftp.imo.net, directory /pub/software/metsim, or via our homepage at http://www.imo.net/visual/major03.html To run the program, a fast PC / graphics card is necessary. The simulation should be executed under DOS. It is advised to do the first simulations with a clock displayed. If the calibration works well, the clock should run approximately in real time. Three simulation modes are available: * In training mode, you enter a number of meteors per second and the program shows you, how that will look like. * In static test mode, the program displays a fixed number of meteors, that you have to estimate. * In dynamic test mode, the simulation runs for a longer time with gradually changing activity. You are to estimate the meteor number each minute, which allows the study of systematic errors. On startup you can choose a number of parameters like * the position of the field of view with respect to the radiant, * the geocentric velocity and population index values of the meteor shower and * the number of stars displayed. The flag -help lists all available options. The software has some limitations: * Effects like variable meteor numbers due to the position of the field of view (near zenith or horizon, near or far from the radiant) are not simulated, as these effects have only to be modeled properly when computing the ZHR. Main aim of the program is to study, whether visual observers are able to give good estimates of a larger number of shooting stars visible in a certain field of view. So, the long-time average of displayed meteors matches exactly the given number. * For the same reason, there are no very faint meteors displayed, which are extremely difficult to see. Every observers should be able to see all simulated meteors, avoiding side effects from different 'limiting magnitudes'. * The angular velocity of meteors and the lengths of their trails is not computed according to some formulae, but was intuitively adjusted to look realistic. This may be improved in a future release of the program. Please, send your questions, data files, suggestions for improvements, and other comments to the author (molau@informatik.rwth-aachen.de). Enjoy the simulation! Sirko Molau