An Astronaut’s Incredible Photos of “Star Trails”

The state of the universe.
June 8 2012 6:56 PM

An Astronaut’s Incredible Photos of “Star Trails"

Looking at Earth from the International Space Station.

When he is not flying around Earth at about 18,000 miles per hour, out on space-walks or performing weird zero-gravity experiments, astronaut Don Pettit takes some of the most astounding space photos to date. The images, which look straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, as has been noted around the web, were taken 240 miles up in space by combining multiple 30-second exposure photos, and then stacking them together with imaging software. The resulting “star trail” images, as he calls them, essentially show the paths made by stars and earth lights over 10 to 15 minutes.

All images below were taken by Don Pettit from NASA.

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Juliana Jiménez Jaramillo is a photo editor at Slate. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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