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Star Trails' Captured in Awesome New Composite Image Taken From Space Station

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"I take multiple 30-second exposures, then ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.”

This single image is a composite of 18 individual images taken at a long exposure. (Photo: NASA/Flickr)

Usually, we bring you time-lapsed videos taken from the International Space Station of the aurora borealis over Earth or North American cities at night, to name a few. One of the latest works of art from the space station is a composite photo created from 18 long-exposure images.

The photo is able to trace what Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit describes as star trails thanks to the exposure time that was allotted for the shot to be taken. Here's more on the image from NASA's Flickr site:

“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," [Pettit said.]

The circles within the image, which Gizmodo describes as "trippy," are the star trails. The dome at the bottom is Earth, above which the ISS is orbiting at 240 miles. The golden strips you see on Earth are lights from cities.

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