Star Trails

March 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

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These incredible images were created by Don Pettit, an astronaut and flight engineer aboard the International Space Station last year.

I don’t think i’ve ever seen time lapse imagery quite as beautiful as this before so enjoy them in HD and then check out the full set from the link at the bottom.

Lukeandjules_star-trail-2 Lukeandjules_star-trail-3To create these pictures, Don had to test various combinations of settings to push the 30 second limit of most cameras. What he’s fighting onboard the ISS is a barrage of radiation that can quickly wreak havoc on a sensor. A brand new camera delivered to the ISS can start showing effects within a few days.

Pettit describes his process as follows:

”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.”

You can find the full album at the ISS Flickr photo set here! I recommend you put the kettle on first…

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