Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit relayed some information about photographic techniques used to achieve the images: “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.”
Watched a bunch of Travel Channel stuff. Mostly Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown and Any Given Latitude. I also saw an episode of Stranded with Cash Peters where this guy, Cash Peters, is left in some country and has to except the hospitality of any people he can talk into it.
I fixed the camera up with the wide angle lens and took a few pictures of the stars, one of the stars around Orion and the other of the Big Dipper. I was looking in my Night Sky Mag. and found out that the star, Mizar, in the handle of the dipper is a binary star (with Alcor) and my picture even showed it. In reality it is a multiple star since if you magnified it enough you could see that it is a binary as well. Even funnier is that astronomers have discovered that each of these stars are binary as well but you cannot distinguish this in any telescope.
What an exciting evening I had.