Interval Photography of Dust

Figure 0Shot taken of an Orchid, when camera was not in IR “mode.”

I recently obtained a camera that easily converts to IR photographic service, and then back to standard visible light service, with a simple pop-out / pop-in removable internal camera filter.  It’s an SD-14, and it takes pretty nice visible light photos (as in figure 0), but I wanted to use it for a little project where I thought its IR capability might be of benefit.

Figure 1: IR photo (brightness increased, then scaled up by 4X in edit)

The dust level in one room of my house reached 3.5 million particles per cubic meter, where the particles were detected at a size of less than two microns (with some potentially as small as 500 nanometers) – using a Dylos 1100 (“Pro” version) electronic particle detector.  I have several detectors of various sorts. Often, the alarm on one of them is triggered in the middle of the night.  The other detectors do not have audible alarms.  In search of the cause of huge night-time spikes in the level of particulates, I used the recently obtained camera – after setting it up for IR “mode” – to take some IR photos of the affected room.

The photo (shown in figure 1) had some artifacts that I thought could be very small versions what can be seen in figure 2.   My first impression was that the spots were not camera sensor hot spots, i.e. they were caused by real light and were not noise related.

Figure 2:  Infrared photo taken of a dry erase board behind my head.

The shot in figure 2 shows a much more powerful infrared bright spot.  It also seems to be showing a cloud of detritus moving away from the brightest center of the spot.  The photo in figure 2 was taken a short number of weeks before the photo in figure 1, and was obtained as a matter of happenstance.

What is the connection between the infrared bright spots and the extremely high dust concentration, if any? Why would there be a connection? Why would the large spikes in the dust concentration happen mostly in the middle of the night?

I have a hard time getting my head around figure 2. What the hell is it? It seems to defy any promotion of it as an anomaly.  The filters used in all of the shots block all visible light, such that it seems the light shown must be infrared, and nothing else.  This is a project that will continue to get my serious attention.

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