All-Sky and Northern Lights Webcams

Here at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, we are currently working on getting a two cameras: 1) Northern Lights webcam, and 2) an all-sky webcam, as part of our stargazing activities and to be included in the International Dark Sky Park initiatives.

We are currently researching the different camera options, (if you have any suggestions feel free to share your ideas with us) discussing the placement of the camera on our tower (~100 feet high), the installation process etc.

The purpose of these webcams is to show the wonderful night sky for stargazing and be able to show the beauty of the Northern Lights for anyone who has never seen them before, also to use it as a reference tool for those who want to be adventuresome and see them in person.

The first camera, will be an all-sky camera, which will be located at the top of our tower, looking directly up so you can have a 360-degree view of the sky. The second camera, will be an night-sky camera which will highlight the Northern Lights activities at the top of the Keweenaw. This camera will be located underneath the first camera on our tower, looking north towards Lake Superior, with a 180-degree view.


Here is a map showing where the tower is located, along with several pictures of the tower (a picture taken during the day, and a picture taken at night).

Camera Information and Specs

For a better understanding of what we are working on accomplishing, check out these links:

→ This is a link to the all-sky camera at Poker Flat, Fairbanks, Alaska https://allsky.gi.alaska.edu/

→ This is a link to the all-sky camera at Awbrey Butte, Bend, Oregon

→ This is a link to the Churchill Webcam in Manitoba, Canada https://www.webcamtaxi.com/en/canada/manitoba/churchill-northern-lights.html

Aurora Info

NOAA’s Current Forecast for the Northern Lights

Note: We are testing how to interface with NOAA’s system. The image below pulls directly from the https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ site. We will be contacting NOAA to see if this is the best way to provide information to our visitors regarding the Aurora Forecast that they provide.

The image above is from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, and is updated automatically from NOAA’s web site.

Stay tuned for more information, coming soon!

All-Sky Camera Progress

November 13th, 2021 Update

Martin Mueller is working on assembling the all-sky camera. The set-up is Thomas Jacquin’s design that he has shared (see his project page, where he talks about the camera assembly, along with other space related projects that the public can access). This page on the website contains resources, parts, assembly layout, and a Github page for the software aspect of the camera. Another individual made a step-by-step guide video on how to set-up the software on a Raspberry Pi 4. Raspberry Pi 4 is the operating system that we are using to control the camera. Credit to Thomas Jacquin for the design and Patriot Astro for the instruction video.

Currently the software set-up on the Raspberry Pi 4 is completed. An online Administration Panel has been created for us to work on the settings of the camera and to provide the functionality to connect the camera to our website.

The next steps are to assemble the camera, connect it to the Raspberry Pi 4, work on the camera settings, connect the panel / camera to our website, and install the camera on the tower.

Below are pictures from working on the software and setting up the admin panel.

Desktop with the Command Line open on the Raspberry Pi 4 computer.

Computer set-up used to work on the Raspberry Pi 4.

The AllSky Administration Panel where the camera spec are held. Right now the live feed website is not available in the mean time.

December 4th, 2021 Update

Since yesterday, Martin has been running the Raspberry Pi and camera on to test how they perform and how the images and time-lapse video come out. Suffice to say, the camera was able to take over 100 images and record a ~4:30 minute time-lapse video on the first night. Below are two images taken along with the time-lapse video. They were taken inside of our conference center.

Additional testing and modifications will be conducted in order to find the appropriate performance and image quality before constructing the casing to put the set-up in.  More updates coming soon.

December 19th, 2021 Update

Chris and Martin played around with the camera focus and the images settings to find the desired viewing and image. They figured out how to focus the camera and got a clear video / image.

Still image with camera lens in focus.

With the ability to manually focus the camera lens and beginning to understand the camera settings, Martin will being making the case containing the Raspberry Pi and the camera to be able to run tests outside of the building.