Imagine viewing the solar system from the outside:

enter image description here

Considering the sun is quite bright, would you still be able to see stars in the background, or does the sunlight disable us to do so?

Consider this photo:

enter image description here

Does the light from the sun disable us from seeing stars in the background or have they simply been removed in an editor after the fact of being taken (the photo)?

Obviously there needs be some way of seeing stars from space, since looking at photos from space stations (or even from Earth) those are full of stars.

But, viewing the solar system from above (from the outside), can you see stars in the background or does the sunlight simply block them out?

  • $\begingroup$ "solar system from the outside" What do you consider to be the outer limit of the Solar system? Outside Neptune's orbit? Outside the Oort cloud? Half way to the next closest star? At what angle from the Sun is considered 'background'? Within a degree of it? Within an arc minute? $\endgroup$ – Andrew Thompson Jul 16 '16 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ The picture of the Earth is clearly exposed for proper exposure of the Earth. That means that the tiny specks of light that are the other stars that would otherwise be seen are far too dim to register on the camera (sensor or film). If you expose for the background stars, you will very likely end up with a perfectly white circle where the Earth would be, and you may or may not still be able to make out any stars due to overloading issues. Compare Without air, the sky is black, so where are the stars? (about Apollo) on Bad Astronomy. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jul 17 '16 at 19:08

Stars are much less bright than the earth in full sunlight as per your picture. So with the exposure required to give that picture of earth, no, you won't see stars.

But move the camera a bit to the side, so earth is not in shot and you can see stars.

The same goes for the sun - make sure sunlight is not entering the lens, and you can easily see stars.

Sunlight doesn't block any light out (unless you want to see a star that is actually behind the sun) it's just so bright that you need to make sure it isn't in shot.


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