posted on Jan, 5 2010 @ 03:13 PM
Originally posted by dainoyfb
We will first test for the possibility that the objects are Canada geese flying in formation. We know that Canada geese have a wingspan of
approximately 2 meters. The objects according to our star field reference are about 0.38 of a degree across.
I like your idea and math is my strong suit so I think your math makes sense. But where the idea might fail is assuming the photographic image has any
relationship to the size of the object being photographed, especially when the object(s) photographed are fuzzy dots. I'll give you an extreme
That's a screen capture from the famous STS-75 tether video and I think the width of the tether (below the yellow arrow pointing to a star) is
probably about 3 orders of magnitude greater in that image than the actual object width. The tether is about 2.5mm wide and is photographed from a
distance of about 75-100 miles away so it should be so thin as to be invisible at that distance if your method worked. The difference between geese
and planes in your example is only about one order of magnitude so you simply can't trust the camera to capture an image size that relates to the
size of the object if the object is relatively small. Or to put it another way, photographic conditions would permit Geese showing up on an image as
larger than planes under certain conditions when of course the geese are much smaller. I think this is particularly true of say, white birds, which
will reflect more light relative to their size due to the high reflectivity of the color white, when compared to a darker colored plane, like the F117
or even a plane not quite that dark.
Now here's where your method WOULD work I think:
If the object photographed is large enough to be something besides a fuzzy dot (or fuzzy line in the case of that tether), I think it would work. I
saw you dismissed pixels earlier and claimed your method has nothing to do with pixels and I understand your objection, however I think if it's a
digital image you could say the more pixels the image has that you're trying to estimate the size of the better your method will work. Less than 10
pixels I think the errors will be large, but if the object is say 30-50 pixels at a minimum in size then perhaps your method has some merit.
Star and flag for coming up with a good idea that will work sometimes, but only with "larger" objects or more specifically objects with a larger
angular size in the image (regardless of the actual size of the object).
Unfortunately so many videos are of fuzzy dots I would almost say the majority seem to fall into that category and that's where the camera
limitations and not the math prevent your method from working.
[edit on 5-1-2010 by Arbitrageur]