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I was taking photos of some stars when I noticed this shooting star was wavy toward the end (start?) of it's trail. My cousin suggesting that it could be the CCD in my camera or as it spiralling as it enters the atmosphere. This is a heavily cropped image

Shooting star

full picture

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    $\begingroup$ Wobbling or spiralling seems much more likely than CCD issues in this image. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Dec 27 '19 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ Do you think it is entering atmosphere? $\endgroup$ – Michael Beamish Dec 27 '19 at 23:36
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    $\begingroup$ Of course it had already entered the atmosphere @Michael Beamish else how could we it? $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Dec 28 '19 at 8:04
  • $\begingroup$ The stars have traces, suggesting your camera was not tracking. True? Does your camera have an internal "image stabilization" algorithm running? For that matter, we might need to dig into the readout order & FET switching to determine if there are pixel-drain artifacts ("bleeding" into neighbors) $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Dec 30 '19 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelBeamish What type of camera where you using? Please be specific (i.e. not "mirrorless" but instead "Pentax K1 Mark II.") $\endgroup$ – Michael C Jan 4 at 13:50
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It's shutter vibration. It begins at one end of the trail (which I'm guessing is the start of the exposure) and quickly damps out.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I thought it might have been a spiralling object coming toward me. It is also likely that the electronic shutter was open and still as it was exposed for 25 seconds. It's not a typical DSLR shutter $\endgroup$ – Michael Beamish Dec 28 '19 at 7:21
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelBeamish I see what you mean. Are you 100% sure is a meteor and not a satellite? Since they can move fairly slowly sometimes (1.4 down to 0.2 degrees/sec) if you just glance at intervals a satellite will look just like a non-distinct random star, we only know they are satellites when we watch for a while and notice them slowly creep against the other stars. I still think it's shutter vibration, but the trail is caused by an artificial satellite. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Dec 28 '19 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelBeamish There are many sites that will predict satellite trails for you. You can type in the approximate time and the date and your lat/lon cooridnates and websites will tell you the satellites that were passing then, even make a map for you. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Dec 28 '19 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ @xenoid Without the elevation above horizon, we can't convert angular speed to orbital speed. Basically there needs to be more data (lat/lon, time, direction) before we can conclude anything with 100% about the visibility of a satellite in the photo. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Dec 29 '19 at 2:18
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    $\begingroup$ Rather than shutter vibration, it might be an artifact of built-in image stabilization algorithms. I agree it appears to "damp out" but I don't see any intensity variation in the star images (which, moving much more slowly relative to the camera, if damping out would be brighter at the tail-end of the exposure). $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Dec 30 '19 at 22:43

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