The Best Star Trail Images That You’ll Never Take

Astronaut captures astonishing images of star trails from space at 17,000 MPH

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Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit gives us a view of our planet from space unlike anything we've seen before. The familiar blue-green ball is replaced by striking fast moving lines of light. The images are taken as the International Space Station circles Earth at about 17,000 miles per hour. Flight Engineer Don Pettit made this images by taking 30-second exposures with an ordinary DSLR and stacking the exposures into a single frame that represents around 15 minutes of orbit.

The rotation is fast enough that the long exposures blur the earth into streaks of light under a steady rain of stars. The images are rich with a sense of wonder and beauty, and like those first blue-green photos of our planet from space, they give us a wild new view of this planet we call home.