Explanation for lack of stars

Dear Editor:This is in response to Mr. Sandoval's letter in the Aug. 28 issue of The Downey Patriot ("Mystery of the Stars"). As a photographer, I may have an explanation for why the stars do not show up in NASA photographs or videos of the earth, moon and astronauts in space. The light of the stars is so dim, whether on earth or in space, that our current imaging technologies cannot record it without exposure times of several seconds, or even minutes. A video camera records a scene as a series of images, each image recorded in, perhaps, 1/30 of a second. A still camera might snap a picture in 1/100 of a second or faster; perfectly adequate to photograph a sunlit astronaut floating beside a spacecraft, but not nearly enough exposure time to reveal the stars behind him. Anyone wishing to see NASA photographs of stars should review the output of those spacecraft specifically designed for the purpose. A good example is the Hubble Space Telescope. - Alan D. Williams, Downey

********** Published: September 11, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 21