Low light astrophotography from the ISS

This long video video (25 minutes) by Christoph Malin provides a lot of interesting information on taking photographs from the ISS with Dr. Don Pettit:

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  • rhlpetrus

    Very nice, thanks.

  • usa

    Wow! The same Nikkor lenses and Nikon bodies that people bitch endlessly about around here seem to work great in zero gravity.

    • Dpablo unfiltered

      They reach a level of performance that is ABOVE everything you can do down here because gravity SUCKS.

  • Levity

    Sandra bullock was hotter….

    • Christoph Malin

      We asked but she said something like “I have enough of that space thing for a while” 😉 No, just kidding. “Gravity” was the best space film I have ever seen. And I need to watch it at least two more times.

      • zoetmb

        Gravity was a great film but your imagery was actually far more beautiful. I can imagine a scene in Gravity, perhaps when Bullock’s character thinks she’s going to die, where she looks out a window, hallucinates a bit and sees the equivalent of your images. Now that would have blown people away far more than Gravity already did.

    • One More Thought

      Best comment ever on this site!

  • minivini_1275

    Shhh, I think Dr. Evil has gotten on board the ISS…

  • Dencheg

    COOL me finkz :3

  • Luis Cordon

    I dream of having a D3 and the pro lenses weight the same in earth as in space. That will be a great scientific achievement

  • Ronan

    That was an amazing movie.

    • Christoph Malin

      Thank you!

  • Marcelo Trad

    And people complain about dead pixels arround here…little do they know.

  • zoetmb

    Well I wrote a long posting with all the complaints and negative comments people will make, but I lost it and don’t feel like typing it again, but you can guess what they’d be.

    I’d love to know what the used to record the video.

    The images were quite amazing. The whole thing is amazing when you think about the fact that we didn’t have commercial AM radio until the 1920s, that there were quite a few parts of this country that didn’t even have electricity until the TVA after 1933, that NASA wasn’t founded until 1958, the first manned spaceflight was 52 years ago and that the first Intel 8008 processor was developed in 1972 – just 41 years ago.

    Looking at photos and film footage from 1913, it’s almost impossible to imagine where we’ll be in 2113, providing we don’t destroy life on this planet first. By then our cameras will probably be the size of shirt buttons recording billion-pixel images and we’ll browse them simply by thinking about them.

    • Ronan

      Too bad we are expecting to screw up the planet around 2045!

    • mikeswitz

      They used a Df to record the video

    • Christoph Malin

      Dear Zoemtb,

      thank you for the feedback… the Video parts in the film were all recorded with D3s.

      • zoetmb

        Wow! And only 720p! And they say Nikon does crap video.

  • BroncoBro

    This video made me chuckle. I worked in a film and print processing lab at Jet Propulsion Lab in the mid 1970s. Folks like Dr. Petit are common there…very bright, enthusiastic with an insatiable curiosity. It was thrilling to be around them. To have worked in support of the Viking Mission that landed two spacecraft on Mars is a highlight of my life. Zoetmb here remarks about the progress we’ve made in aviation and electronics in such a short period of time and I concur. In 1976 we were processing images that were basically 1MP on a film area that was about 3 1/2″ by 3 3/4″. There were 16 shades of grey making up the images. The data was streamed, from Mars, into the imaging lab in Pasadena where a cathode ray tube projected a single dot that varied in brightness through a relay lens to the film. The raster scan of the image took several minutes. Those original rolls were then given to our lab, in which I was a sensitometry tech, and processed in one of nine Kodak Versamat processors. That roll was then contact printed onto paper, duplicate negatives were printed and the whole package was then transported by helicopter and then a jet to the geophysical lab at Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona. There, astrogeologists examined them for potential landing sites for the two landers. Both, of course, landed safely and sent back a lot of great images form the surface of Mars…a first for mankind. The whole process took probably 4 hours from acceptance of the film in our lab to drop off in Arizona. And, of course, the project was costing millions here on earth, let alone the cost of having engineered, built and sent the two spacecraft up in the first place. Today I can make images that are higher resolution made more than an order of magnitude in full color and can send them to my editor in just a few minutes if need be. All on a camera that costs around $2,000.

  • teej

    wow… imagine all the “dead pixels” that dude has in his DNA now after exposure to all those cosmic space rays. Good thing he decided to have children before he went to space.

    • Neopulse


  • Maji

    Thank you for this video. I am surprised at the lack of comments on this interesting post. I guess most of the people who comment here are more interested in why Nikon did not include video on Df instead of enjoying a great video.

    • Christoph Malin

      Dear Maji, just checking the Vimeo stats… the Video got around 8000 (!) plays from Nikonrumors just today – which is so cool!!!. Looks like people like it… Some more comments would of course be nice, but probably it’s been a busy wednesday for everyone. And – the Df is just a different story.

  • Thomas

    Thanks a lot for sharing this video here, amazing pictures!

  • Great story. Not just a nerd, but a PHOTO nerd!

  • TOR

    Great stuff!

  • HAL

    Calling Stanley Krubirk

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