The photos of Don Pettit are literally out of this world. The NASA astronaut spends a considerable amount of time aboard the International Space Station, so much so that he has even constructed a device specifically for taking photos of the Earth’s surface from the satellite.
While star trail photography is commonplace, it’d be a treat to see them from a different vantage point and Pettit is happy to oblige. He explains the technique he used to create his ISS Star Trails:
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.
Have a look at the increbible star trails from space after the jump.