Incredible Long Exposure Photographs Shot from Orbit

Last month we shared a long exposure photograph by NASA astronaut Don Pettit that showed star trails and city trails in the same frame. Turns out the photo was just one of many long exposure images shot by Pettit so far during Expedition 31. The photograph above shows star trails, an aurora, and flashes of lightning splattered all across the surface of the Earth.

Check out this Flickr set for the entire collection of amazing photographs.

ISS Star Trails (via Neatorama)

Image credits: Photographs by Don Pettit/NASA

  • Tam Nguyen Photography


  • branden rio

    yeah, wow

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I have to admit, I was less than impressed with the last set, but these are absolutely fantastic!

  • Zak Henry

    Incredible images, a shame that it had to be done in 10-15 min exposures stitched together as the seams are fairly obvious

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Would dark-frame subtraction not have worked?

  • Lance Andrewes

    These photos cost *how many* billion dollars to take?!

  • Somethinspecial

    amazing.. long exposure put to good use!

  • Osmosisstudios

    #3 is particularly special.  

  • SheppardJewell73

    my friend’s step-sis ter makes $72/ho u r on the internet. She has bee n wi thout a job for 9 months but last month her pa y was $12371 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more

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  • Blogzpoint

    Awesome :)

  • dirtgirl21

    He was up there anyway. Who cares if he’s taking pictures or playing Scrabble with his spare time?

  • Sergey Kornilov

    Fantastic pictures. 

  • HotDang

    The space program isn’t a waste of money, it’s the best investment that’s ever been made.

    Criticizing how much is spent on it is dumber than chastising someone today for the money they spent buying Apple stock in 1999. So much more has come out than what was put in. Also, the total amount of money ever spent on NASA is less than what one year of the newest Iraq war costs.

  • Prasad Velagaleti

    Not sure if it were an achievement or failure, but one cant recognize until told that these are taken from “orbit”. Look like some sort of modern art. Not sure what the goal of the pics was ?

  • Brian Cardarella

    Wow these are beautiful

  • Resil_20

    Very very amazing,where can we visit the complete released of the amazing photographs

  • AcevedoJulian

    my best friend’s sister-in-law got paid $14696 the prior month. she is making money on the inte<!–truth is almight–>rnet and bought a $372500 home. All she did was get blessed and work up the steps uncovered on this link 

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  • Yan

    Yeah, there are pretty nice, so who cares what his technique was to create them?  The stiching is noticable, but it doesn’t distract or diminish the final outcome. 

  • Srichuwong


  • Inam Gul

    These are the most amazing photos i have ever seen. I am also planning to shoot very long exposure photos but lake of time and money are issue, but i will do so soon.
    And thanks for showing me how amazing the results can be.

  • niki_naka

    i dont think actually knowing what it is really matters does it? The content captures the viewers attention and it is a truly unique photograph. 

    No one looks at a picasso and says “i dont know if it an achievement or failure, but i really couldnt tell that was a person until someone told me.”
    with art, it does not matter what others think, or what the object really is. it’s the feeling that you as a witness to art, get’s from the image. Abstract or not, mistake or purposeful, the way this individual captured our world is absolutely stunning. 

  • Bernd Jendrissek

    I heartily approve of money getting spent on space programmes (I’d far rather it be wasted there than in some bogus war), but I can’t agree with this “so much more has come out of it than what was put in” assertion. Firstly, as merely an unsourced claim, I simply don’t believe it [*], and secondly, what *else* could have come out of it had that money been spent on something else?

    I always find it odd how many people mention the development of Velcro as if that’s supposed to justify the by now trillions of dollars that have been spent on space programmes around the world.

    But don’t get me wrong – I love my space pics as much as any other space fan, and if US taxpayers (I’m not one of them) are willing to pay to make them happen, I’m all for it! :)

    [*] It MAY be true that space programmes have yielded a net positive return on capital, ignoring opportunity costs, but the question doesn’t yield to a naive Velcro-level analysis.

  • Guest
  • chuntianwen

  • MannDaryl

    my co-worker’s sister got paid $21912 the previous week. she gets paid on the internet and got a $416800 house. All she did was get fortunate and put into action the steps given on this link

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  • Dyzlizio

    Amazing shot. Very expensive picture, : )

  • Charlottaward


  • Fuzi Photography