Photos of Star Trails From the International Space Station

Jun 11, 2012
Outside Magazine

Photo: Courtesy of NASA_JSC_Photo/Flickr

By now, you've probably heard of NASA's Don Pettit. If you haven't, he's the Dragon-grabbing, Smithsonian-blogging, picture-taking, astro-tweeting, Flickr-posting, weightlifting astronaut aboard the International Space Station. If you haven't been paying attention to any of the celestial media he's been posting, these photos might just inspire you to follow him.

7197236836_333277937e_hPhoto: Courtesy of NASA_JSC_Photo/Flickr

He explained the process behind taking and making the photos on Flickr.

“My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes. However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image. To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do. I take multiple 30-second exposures, then ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.”

7216879178_32d5384bfd_bPhoto: Courtesy of NASA_JSC_Photo/Flickr

You can follow Pettit's tweets @Astro_Pettit.

Click here to view a gallery of Star Trails From The International Space Station.

—Joe Spring

Filed To: Adventure, Photography

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