We’ve seen amazing nightly time lapse movies before and we’ve see amazing star trails photographs before (and we have definitely seen some incredible ISS footage (and shenanigans) before. But I don’t think I’ve seen something just like this.
Videographer Christoph Malin took a swing at stacking the night sky photographs shot from the ISS and combining them into a time lapse. The results are hypnotizing.
“Video achieved by “stacking” image sequences provided by NASA from the Crew at International Space Station.
Stacks make interesting patterns visible, for example lightning corridors within clouds.
One can also sometimes recognize satellite tracks and meteors – patterns that are not amongst the main star trails.”
The images were stacked using the StarStaX stacking software (which is free for use) and merged using Apple Motion and FCP X.
About the hot spots: While the movie is creating trails, the individual photographs used for stacking are of single point stars. Usually, you can get away with medium ISO and longer exposure times without creating trails (see the rule of 600), but the fast movement of the ISS dictated faster shutter speed and using higher ISO which resulted in a large number of hot spots.