Auroras, Sparkling City Lights and the Stars. ISS Image, January 18, 2017

This long exposure photo taken from the International Space Station on January 18, 2017, as it orbits around the Earth provides a spectacular view of auroras, sparkling city lights and the stars filling the cosmos beyond.

As you can see, there are stars in this photo, because it is a long exposure photo.

I can’t believe that people still asking “why are there no stars when the astronauts take pictures from space?” or “why are there no stars in the moon landing photos” etc. Especially, conspiracy theorists (henceforth conspiracists) frequently point out that there are no stars in the Apollo photographs. The explanation is so simple: why you cannot see the stars in noon time? Or, when there is a full moon go outside and see how many stars you can find compared to a night when the moon is not out. You will see the difference. The stars are very faint and get washed out by the bright light of the moon. The reason why no or very little stars can be seen is because of the Earth. The Earth, when lit by the Sun, is many thousands times brighter than the stars around it. As a result the Earth is so bright that it swamps out most if not all of the stars. The truth is, as you can see some of the photos above, stars are sometimes seen in International Space Station videos and photographs taken while the ISS is on the night side of the Earth. tars are rarely seen in Space Shuttle, Mir, Earth observation photos, or even sporting events that take place at night. The light from the Sun in outer space in the Earth-Moon system is at least as bright as the sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface on a clear day at noon, so cameras used for imaging subjects illuminated by sunlight are set for a daylight exposure. The dim light of the stars simply do not provide enough exposure to record visible images.

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