Star Trails From the International Space Station

Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit relayed some information about photographic techniques used to achieve these images. (Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr)
Star Trails Photo from International Space Station

Star Trails Photo from International Space Station

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

Star Trails Photo from International Space Station

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

Star Trails Photo from International Space Station
(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.

Star Trails Photo from International Space Station
(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.

Star Trails Photo from International Space Station
(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.

Star Trails Photo from International Space Station
(Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr)


You can follow Pettit on Twitter at @Astro_Pettit.

(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.

Star Trails Photo from International Space Station
(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.

Star Trails Photo from International Space Station
(Don Pettit/NASA_JSC_Photo on Flickr)

Filed To: Nature / Photography
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