TechnologyUpdate

Why Can’t You See Stars in Videos of Space?

A recent video taken from the International Space Station (ISS) shows the stars very clearly, though the bright planetary bodies have the effect of obscuring stars in the distance. That’s because the ISS is so bright that it becomes the image’s focal point and drowns out the fainter objects in the distance. The camera adjusts its exposure to account for the bright light coming through the door, which in turn darkens nearby objects.

There are six people living on the International Space Station, which is essentially every human in space at this time. The astronauts experience night sixteen times a day, for 45 minutes at a time. They’re rewarded with amazing starscapes. The inability to see stars in videos of space is related to the fact that the stars are not particularly bright in space, and astronauts’ eyes quickly lose their dark adaptation.

Photographers use a long exposure setting to capture images of stars and moons. However, when using a long exposure, the ISS’s camera overexposes the sun and other bright celestial bodies. That’s how they get the ‘doctored’ look of space photos. If a bright celestial body is in the foreground of a video, it is most likely it was intentionally inserted into the image by a ‘doctor’.

In addition to the lack of stars, the brightness of a star is dependent on the shutter speed. For a full moon, the shutter must be open for several seconds, while for a star, it can take up to an hour. However, astronaut pictures of moons and planets show starless skies, despite Neil Armstrong’s claim that he could not see stars in space. Nevertheless, starless skies have a different effect.

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