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IMPORTANT NOTE- this software is unstable and under development.

Small collection of utilities for detecting moving objects within sdss images.


The simplest approach is to grab a jpg image from SDSS and run naive_detect:

> naive_detect <jpg-image-file-name>

which will generate a candidate.jpg if it contains a potential moving object, marking its location on the jpeg.

The moving object is identified by a circle in the following example image.

Example candidate image2

here is another example.

Example candidate image

here is a good example of detection at the limit of image resolution.

Example candidate image3


This effort is an attempt to detect moving objects (eg. asteroids) in SDSS images at scale.

The way SDSS captures image data makes it straightforward to identify moving objects.

The general algorithm for detection I have developed is as follows:

  • split image into RGB layers then subtract from each other
  • stationary objects should negate themselves
  • if there is anything remaining it will indicate offset aka movement
  • convert to grayscale for circle detection using HoughCircle

Because it is most familiar to me, I am currently working with jpeg imagas though will be switching over to using FITS soon.

False positives are an issue:

  • image flaring
  • detecting poor image quality
  • unknown (ex. picking up other kinds of artifacts/moving objects in SDSS image)

I have not quite got to 'the at scale' part as I am still grokking lots of ancillary SDSS data.

Next steps

Build and deploy

To build you may have to install some additional deps:

yum install epel-release
yum install cmake3

To build this set of utilities on linux, osx and windows platforms.

>cmake3 -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -G "CodeBlocks - Unix Makefiles"

Note that running cmake will pull down dependencies.

Then run make, make install.

To create a release package

>cpack3 --config CPackConfig.cmake


This project depends on the following external libs:


Apache License v2.0


asteroid detection from Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) images (ALPHA - unstable under development)





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