How-To Geek

Star Trail Photos Taken from the International Space Station

While most people have seen a star trail photo or two, seeing a set of star trail photos taken from over 300 miles above the Earth’s surface is a treat.

Courtesy of Astronaut and Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit, the photos capture star trails from the vantage point of the International Space Station. He explains his technique:

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.

Hit up the link below for the full Flickr set of the star trails.

ISS Star Trails [via Smithsonian Magazine]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/11/12

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  1. Dorothy


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