The fine astronauts onboard the ISS have been very kind to us space nerds. Its cameras have blessed us with more breathtaking timelapses than we can count. And now onboard astronaut Don Pettit is kicking things into hyperspace with this set of gorgeous "star trails" that look like they've been plucked right out of Tron.
No, space doesn't look like this to the naked eye, but thanks to magic of photography, you can at least imagine what it would look like if everything was just one big long exposure.
"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, the 'stack' them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure."
Well done, Pettit, well done. Anybody who doesn't think that these shots are wallpaper-worthy needs to get a time-out. They're bee-yoo-tee-ful, and you know it.