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How do I capture images from a modest video camera?

My objective with OpenCV is to examine images taken at 1/30 second of meteors with a modest video camera. For example, It is important to recognize the meteor path across frames, and find the centroid of the meteor in each frame. Further, the camera may produce noise, so it would be useful to scrub the images with a filter of some sort. Possibly, using say low-pass filters, donut filters, box car filters, etc. (2-D matrices) There may be some short ,dim, linear features in the frames, so they are not likely be considered meteors. These should be removed. The camera has no way to produce dark frames. Ultimately, the frame data would be used to determine the orbit of the meteor, whether it impacted the earth, or bounced out of the atmosphere using celestial mechanics methods.

The biggest trick with the images is that they need to be cleaned up. I have no real idea how to do that, so I'm hoping someone has done it or there's a IP library that might help. Comments?