Saturday, June 2, 2012

Science Video Friday (on Saturday!) - Photuris flashing

I recently ordered a new camera (a Canon Powershot SX150 IS) after my old camera (a Canon Powershot A560) went kaput, and it arrived a couple of days ago. Since then, I've been testing it out and getting used to it. I've gotten a few good shots, but I still have a long way to go before I'm comfortable with it. I have to say though, it's a huge step up from my old camera, which isn't surprising considering I had been using the A560 for about six years.

I decided to test out the video function last night and was impressed with the results. It shoots in HD, so I can actually get some quality video out of it. The subject I turned to was a firefly in the genus Photuris that seemed to be on its way out the door. I grabbed my hand lens and recorded a short video of it flashing, which you can watch below. It was interesting to watch up close, which I had never done before.

Fireflies produce light via a biochemical reaction utilizing luciferin, luciferase, ATP, oxygen, and magnesium. This happens in the last few segments of the abdomen. Watching it up close I noticed many small sparkles of light before the big flash, who knew?

No comments:

Post a Comment