Image: Composite of a series of images taken from space aboard the space station

May 18, 2012, JPL/NASA

(Phys.org) -- This is a composite of a series of images photographed from a mounted camera on the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, from approximately 240 miles above Earth.

Expedition 31 Don Pettit said of the about photographic techniques used to achieve the images: "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."

A total of 18 images photographed by the astronaut-monitored stationary camera were combined to create this composite.

Explore further: Space Image: Earth observations

Related Stories

Space Image: Earth observations

January 9, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- This unusual image was photographed through the Cupola on the International Space Station by one of the Expedition 30 crew members.

Rosetta: OSIRIS’ view of Earth by night

November 15, 2007

This striking composite of Earth by night shows the illuminated crescent over Antarctica and cities of the northern hemisphere. The images were acquired with the OSIRIS Wide Angle Camera (WAC) during Rosetta’s second Earth ...

The Planet, the Galaxy and the Laser

August 3, 2007

On the night of 21 July, ESO astronomer Yuri Beletsky took images of the night sky above Paranal, the 2600m high mountain in the Chilean Atacama Desert home to ESO's Very Large Telescope. The amazing images bear witness to ...

Recommended for you

Is dark matter made of primordial black holes?

April 20, 2018

Astronomers studying the motions of galaxies and the character of the cosmic microwave background radiation came to realize in the last century that most of the matter in the universe was not visible. About 84 percent of ...

NASA engineers dream big with small spacecraft

April 20, 2018

Many of NASA's most iconic spacecraft towered over the engineers who built them: think Voyagers 1 and 2, Cassini or Galileo—all large machines that could measure up to a school bus.

Unveiling the secrets of the Milky Way galaxy

April 20, 2018

A multinational team of astronomers involving the University of Adelaide has catalogued over 70 sources of very high energy gamma rays, including 16 previously undiscovered ones, in a survey of the Milky Way using gamma ray ...

Where is the universe's missing matter?

April 19, 2018

Astronomers using ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory have probed the gas-filled haloes around galaxies in a quest to find 'missing' matter thought to reside there, but have come up empty-handed – so where is it?

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.