Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit recently captured these stunning long exposures during his current mission on the International Space Station (ISS). He says,
“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.”
In a recent video about the Venus Transit you can get a peak behind the scenes of Don’s working environment on the space station. He actually modified the ISS cupola windows in order to capture clearer images:
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