I get this question a lot by many people when we share pictures taken by astronauts on social media: "Why cannot you see any stars in the pictures that astronauts capture from space?" Well the answer is simple; NASA researchers explain that "the cameras are incapable of capturing the light released by the stars since the bright sunlight hitting the surrounding surface washes out the light from the stars."
Experts at PhysLink.com explain as:
"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 reason that the stars do not show up on the film is that the stars are so dim that the camera cannot gather enough of their light in a short exposure. Our eyes are a lot more sensitive to light than photographic film."
So that’s why American astronaut Reid Wiseman's newest space snapshot, taken with a extended exposure, displays that, yes, of course there are stars in the space:
3 second shutter exposure at night shows how crazy our #atmosphere really is. pic.twitter.com/iujEqpjQqT
— Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid) August 18, 2014