The WebCam, web pages and the National Center for Atmospheric Research are sponsored by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).
This WebCam is operated by NCAR's Lidar Engineering Group of the Atmospheric Technology Division. The WebCam was brought on-line to monitor sky conditions as part of an aerosol backscatter lidar development effort. The images from this camera have been made available to the public as a simple by-product of archival work associated with these images. NCAR makes no warranty concerning the continued availability of these images, or the utility of these images for any purpose. The WebCamera may be taken off-line or re-pointed at any time.
The camera is located on the roof of the NCAR Foothills Lab, near the intersection of Foothills Parkway and the Diagonal Highway in Boulder, CO. This is also near the Boulder airport, and aircraft are often seen by the camera during takeoff or landing. Since 2003-Jun-05, the camera has been centered on the east side of one of the Lab's buildings, and looks north along the foothills of the Front Range. The camera uses a wide-angle lens, which accounts for the distortion seen in the images. Resolution of the camera is set to 640x480 pixels, with an image archived typically every minute. On a clear day, the camera can see as far as Horsetooth Rock, directly to the west of Fort Collins (when seen, it is on the horizon, just to the left of center in the image).
The full-resolution images from the camera have a byte-size of 60 KByte to 100 KByte. These images can take considerable time to download over telephone modems (typically on the order of 20 seconds for a 56Kbit connection). A reduced-size and reduced-quality set of images is available for use in the historical "review" mode, in an attempt to limit bandwidth requirements. See more details.
Not counting download time, the "real time" images shown here may be as much as two minutes behind clock time. This is due to latencies associated with executing the code to grab the image from a local storage disk (the code "sleeps", and wakes only once per minute), and some small amount for internal network transfer and processing.