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Michael asked some questions:
- what if 2 stars are detected one night, but only 1 (merged)
image on another night?
- what if 2 stars are detected one night, but only 1 (single)
star another night (if one star fades, for exampl)?
- what if 2 stars are detected one night, and 2 stars are detected
another night, but the astrometric solutions on the
two nights are sufficiently different that the
detection of star A on night 1 matches up with the
detection of star B on night 2?
Remember, the limitation here is *not* seeing, but optics.
If things are focussed properly, blends will stay blends and
vice-versa. Also, astrometric solutions are always good to an
arcsec or so; again, you shouldn't have confusion. Situation 2 is
more rare -- you can't guard against everything.
I've already mentioned that I think software gurus should think
strongly about the blending/crowding problem. Another area of
extreme interest is real-time analysis. I intend to produce
starlists on-line, but the analysis of those starlists is much
more complex. However, *noone* is currently doing real-time
analysis. If you did, you could find the cataclysmic variables
that were in outburst, be the first to see a nova, etc. What
I think is needed is a post-starlist program that can be spawned
after the starlist generation and can do the correlation between
existing catalog and new photometry to find those bursting objects.
For CVs, you have a catalog of ~1000 known or suspected variables,
which could just be checked against the incoming photometry to
find the outbursts; no discovery is necessary.