The long exposure “star trail” photographs captured by NASA astronaut Don Pettit are absolutely remarkable. Don Pettit has now added photographer to his job description as well as Expedition 31 Flight Engineer. These photos use a series of 10 to 15 minute exposures, and they capture a number of paths made by stars and the lights on the Earth’s surface.
Standard digital cameras can only take 30-second exposures so Don Pettit took numerous 30-second photos and used imaging software to create a longer exposure. The colorful and final outcome of his pictures shows flashes and strands of light entering the frame in various directions. Pettit calls these various light patterns “star trail” photos, and they are full of vibrant colors and light patterns.
Additional Photos: An Astronaut’s Incredible Photos of “Star Trails”