If they can tell the luminosity is fluctuating from that video footage, I'm beginning to think CSI-style magical "enhance" algorithms are actually real...
The next time astro-boffins announce a burst of activity in V404 Cygni, grab a telescope, head somewhere dark, look at Cygnus, and you could get a treat. V404 Cygni's proximity to us (7,800 light years) makes it one of the cosmos' best-studied black holes, and what's got the Japanese researchers excited is that it sometimes …
not that difficult to determine, really...
You compare the brightness of the object of interest with the brightness of the objects right next to it.
It's only a couple sets of pixels you need to track, and because of their vicinity they will share most of anything our atmosphere does to distort the picture. Piece of cake nowadays, and easy to represent as a graph.
There should be plenty Commentards here who could whip up something to do exactly that.
one or two passes through bog-standard video editing SW would clean it up as well. One to substract jitter using one of the fixed luminosity sources near the object, and maybe one to get rid of remaining noise. But then people would've shouted HAX!!
So Rush get it almost right:
Six Stars of the Northern Cross
In mourning for their sister's loss
In a final flash of glory
Nevermore to grace the night...
Then drop the ball entirely:
Invisible to telescopic eye
Although to be fair, using 1970s rock as a physics primer isn't the best idea.
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