NASA astronaut and Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit recently took this gorgeous image on board the International Space Station.
From the man himself: “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.”
For more images taken from on board the ISS as it hurtles around the Earth at an average of 17,500 mph (28,000 km/h), check out NASA’s Johnson Space Center Flickr page found here: http://www.flickr.com/