star trail

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Star trails.


star trail ‎(plural star trails)

  1. (astronomy, photography) The line of light recorded on a photographic medium when a time exposure is made of a star in the nighttime sky using a camera on a fixed mount, caused by the rotation of the earth during the period of time when the camera's shutter is held open.
    • 2001, Eric DeBolt, "Happy Trails," Astronomy, vol. 29, no. 7, p. 74:
      The idea behind photographing star trails is wonderfully simple. Just take your old mechanical camera, point it skyward, and leave the shutter open.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Usually used in the plural form.

See also[edit]


  • "star trail" at Zoom Astronomy Dictionary, ©1999-2008