Photography From Outer Space: Tales of an Astronaut Photographer

It’s not every day that you get a chance to photograph the “marble” from outer space. I would kill for a chance like that (figuratively speaking). Here, astronaut Don Pettit shares his experience with astronaut photography:

Pettit is an astronaut, of course, and part of his job description is photography. But photography in space doesn’t work the same as it does on Earth. Yes, you might think that there is no gravity and practically way less camera shake. However on the International Space Station you are moving 8 kilometers per second, so as Pettit describes, you’ll need to shift your camera to compensate for that motion in order to get a sharp image.

star and city trails from outer space

As an astronaut he is not just making pretty pictures that almost nobody else gets to do, he is actually creating scientific evidence.

“These pictures in themselves represent a scientific data set recorded, now, over 14 years.”

a view from the international space station

Pettit is particularly keen on photographing the Earth at night. He adores the Aurora lights as seen from outer space and the way cities look from above.

“The way human beings sprinkle their light bulbs around, is a fascinating statement on how we as human beings define our urban areas.”

city lights seen from outer space

“I feel an obligation to share this experience so that everybody else can at least participate through the eyes of the people who do go into the frontiers.”

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