Tracked USA 267

The Texas Gulf Coast finally has some clear, cold air on the back of a cold front and I was able to get out and watch some satellites go by. Here is USA 267 (FIA Radar 4, 41334) going by Capella. It was bright but a few minutes later I watched (didn’t take photos) as a DMSP satellite went by. That one was really bright. I am (slowly) processing observations for the two satellites that I did get photos of. I think that I have good note taking and the other techniques I need to submit usable observations (I will know when I get these in).

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If you haven’t tried this already, your image is easily solved by Here’s the result after submitting the image to the online astrometric solver:

The offline astrometric solver, which you can run locally on your machine, was even quicker, yielding this result.

Both the online and offline solvers will generate a file with the plate solution embedded in it (a world coordinate system in the FITS file). Software like ds9 can be used to extract RA/Dec information from pixel positions.

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Thanks, I know what to do but just need the uninterrupted time to do it. It is easier to do this when my wife is at work :grinning:

I am trying to work through the Docker process and automate more of my workflow, it is too easy to make mistakes in my highly manual process.


Do people submit unedited images to Astrometry? I put my photos into “Photos” on my Mac to search for dimmer objects and always tweak the photos (and export them) to make the streak more visible. Then I submit that to Astrometry - just curious if it helps.

It sounds like everyone else :=( gets a FITS file directly from the imaging and doesn’t need that step of going to Astrometry.


I don’t think benefits from pre-processing the image (especially if its FITS). It performs its own backgrounding and SNR estimates to find sources in the image. So, you don’t need to spend the extra/time step, other than for your personal evaluation and inspection.