Tracking vs. Stationary

From: Shoemaker, Michael A (
Date: Mon May 22 2006 - 12:14:22 EDT

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    Hi everybody,
    I've had reasonable success with recording satellite passes using a KT&C
    350 BW CCD camera and a 50 mm camera lens.  The video is fairly easy to
    analyze (i.e. perform astrometry to determining satellite position),
    because I'm leaving the mount stationary as the satellite passes through
    the frame.  Naturally for LEO satellites, the object only remains in the
    frame for a few seconds before the camera must be repositioned.
    I was wondering if anybody has faced specific problems or issues related
    to image processing when using a motorized mount?  In other words, if I
    use a mount that can more or less follow the satellite during the pass,
    I assume the stars would no longer be points of light, but (depending on
    the shutter speed or frame rate of the camera) be small streaks.  Would
    this preclude the use of those packaged software programs for
    astrometric analysis (like Starry Night Astro Photo Suite or CCDSoft by
    Software Bisque)?
    Michael A. Shoemaker
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