I operate a meteor camera from a fixed location with a known elevation, FOV, and I can work out its sidereal time. On a good night, it takes a large number of images of the sky (fits files).

I can send these to astrometry.net to find out what my camera was viewing at that time but I was wondering if there was a website that can predict what my camera be pointing at on a particular night so I can stack the images to see if I can catch the event.

Or is there a way of calculating what RA and dec I have at a particular time?

The location of the camera, which has a fixed location and elevation, is

  • latitude: 51.07 ; longitude: -1.34 ;

The camera's field of view is ;

  • Approx. horizontal Field-of-view in degrees fov_w: 40 ; Approx.
  • vertical Field-of-view in degrees fov_h: 20 or approximately 150 degrees.
  • The camera's height is 87 m above sea level and has an elevation of 130 degrees from horizontal.

I have some coding experience so would not be adverse to python coding if this ultimately gives a better solution.

The Muskegon site, http://www.stargazing.net/mas/al_az.htm, is comprehensive but does not provide the full solution regarding FoV and potential targets.

  • $\begingroup$ I understand that your camera has a fixed direction. That is it has a fixed alt and azimuth. Converting alt, az and time to RA, dec is a pretty standard operation. There are already answers here. Can you confirm that your camera is fixed, relative to the ground? Or even tell us the longitude, latitude, alt and az of the camera $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Feb 12, 2022 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ Here's one calculator, stargazing.net/mas/al_az.htm If that doesn't do what you want, please clarify. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Feb 12, 2022 at 20:23
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    $\begingroup$ There's probably a duplicate somewhere, if this is asking for alt-az to ra-dec conversion... However I'd rather hear from the OP. They specifically ask for a "website" and so not a python solution (but perhaps python would work for them) As you say, it depends on the OP, and them clarifying the question. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Feb 12, 2022 at 23:54
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    $\begingroup$ @JamesK "Or is there a way of calculating what RA and dec I have at a particular time?" $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Feb 13, 2022 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ I've added the information in the answer to the question $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Feb 13, 2022 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


If the camera is accurately fixed, the declination (Dec) never changes. The only thing that changes is the Right Ascension (RA). You can get the Dec and RA from astometry.net for any photo of known date and time, then calculate the RA for another date and time by knowing the RA increases at a rate of 24 hours RA in 23 hours 56 minutes 4.091 seconds of time.

You can check new photos periodically on astrometry.net to make sure the camera setup is the same.


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