NASA Astronaut’s Unbelievable Video of Star Trails From Space Goes Viral

by Tia Bailey

A stunning photo taken by a NASA astronaut has viewers amazed. The picture features star trails from space.

The astronaut, Donald Pettit, has traveled to the International Space Station three times. While he had free time, he would take photos of space while inside the dome. He last visited the station a decade ago, and when he did, he set up his camera to take a 15-minute exposure shot. The result was wild.

After holding onto sharing he was the photographer for a decade, Pettit shared the photo to Reddit on September 11 this year. He posted it under the title: “I captured something most astrophotographers can only dream about: I captured Star Trails from space. More details in comments.”

The post currently has nearly 69K upvotes, and a ton of awards and comments.

In the comments, Pettit shared additional info: “My name is Donald Pettit, and I am an active NASA astronaut and astrophotographer. New to Reddit, I wanted to share some of my work here, and hope you enjoy!

These are Star Trails taken from my previous mission to the ISS, Expedition 30, in 2012. I call it ‘Lightning Bugs.’ This is a 15-minute time exposure made by stacking 1 minute single exposures. I used a Nikon D3s, ISO 800, 24 mm lens at f5.6. In the photo, stars make arcing trails in deep space, while a huge thunderstorm pounds Earth below as seen from the time history of lightning flashes. The atmosphere between them glows green with what scientists call airglow, which has a different excitation mechanism than auroras. I have many more images like this on my Instagram and Twitter. Please let me know if you would to see me post more here!”

Internet Reacts to Beautiful Photo of Star Trails Taken by NASA Astronaut

People in the comments went wild over the photo. One person wrote: “Excellent work Don. This was one of the shots that inspired me to be more creative with my astrophotography!”

Another person noted that the photo has been their desktop photo for years. Pettit responded, saying: “Small world! I have done many star trails over the years, and will be sure to post more here and on my other socials soon.”