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The Minor Planet Observer
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Palmer Divide Observatory

2007 Shoemaker Grant Recipient

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MPO Canopus - Blinking Images

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Canopus allows you to blink two or more images, i.e., to alternately display overlapped images; this helps spotting an asteroid or other object by its motion since the stars in the image stay in one position while the object jumps from one place in the frame to another.

Using the blinker is very simple: as you open each image, click on a star that appears in all the images to be blinked. This aligns the images so that the stars do not move as the images are cycled through. Once you have done that, click the Start button. The images are minimized and a new form appears on the Blinker page that shows the images, in ascending date/time order, one at at time. You can adjust the amount of time each image appears. The effect is that the stars stay in one place (because the images are aligned) and anything that moves appears to jump across the screen. By using three or more images, you can have more confidence that the moving object is real and not just "fuzzballs" because the motion is linear and in proportion to the time between the images.

 

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This page was last updated on 01/19/11 05:14 -0700.
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