Photographer Captures Spectacular Star Trails Over Sculpture Park

Star Trails and Bugs
Amateur astrophotographer Adam Gordon took this photo of star trails in Anza Borrego Desert State Park in southern California on Sept. 30, 2016. (Image credit: Adam Gordon)

Star trails look larger than life among the sculptures of a grasshopper and scorpion.

Astrophotographer Adam Gordon took the image at California's Anza Borrego Desert State Park on the night of Sept. 30, 2016. The insects are part of a collection of 130 full-sized metal sculptures by artist Ricardo Breceda.

"My plan for that trip was to get some Milky Way pictures and some star trail pictures," Gordon wrote in an email to  [Awesome Star-Trail Photos from Space]

Long exposure times can create star trails in a night sky image. The stars appear as if they are leaving trails behind them as they trace a path across the night sky. The stars appear to move because of the rotation of the Earth.

Taking a 10-second exposure and light painting the scorpion and the grasshopper with a flashlight created the foreground shot.  As clouds came in later that night, Gordon decreased the images to be stacked from 700 to 400 and ended up with approximately a 4-hour star trail photo.

"This was my third time ever shooting star trails!" he added.

You can see more amazing night sky photos by our readers in our astrophotography archive here.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share with us and our news partners for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at

Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook & Google+. Original story on

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for She began writing and producing content for in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.