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  • Photo: Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr

    Star Trails Photo from International Space Station

    Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit relayed some information about photographic techniques used to achieve these images.

  • Photo: Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr

    Star Trails Photo from International Space Station

    My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Photo: Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr

    Star Trails Photo from International Space Station

    However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image.

  • Photo: Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr

    Star Trails Photo from International Space Station

    To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do.

  • Photo: Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr

    Star Trails Photo from International Space Station

    I take multiple 30-second exposures, then ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.

  • Photo: Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr

    You can follow Pettit on Twitter at @Astro_Pettit.

  • Photo: Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr

    Star Trails Photo from International Space Station

    For more star trail images, check out NASA_JSC_PHOTO on Flickr.

  • Photo: Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr

    Star Trails Photo from International Space Station

    For more images from and of space, check out NASA's Image of the Day.

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