The night sky from many parts of the Earth, away from any city lights and pollution, is full of starts, mostly the stars of the Milky Way Galaxy is what fills the night sky densely.

In many photos of outer space capturing the planets of the solar system there is always the black background, not even one single star to be found (I searched for photos of Saturn, Jupiter and even Earth, didn't find any peck of light around it which may be a star)

My question is, why this happens? I've told myself regularly that there can be three reasons for that

  1. The exposure of the camera is too low to capture the stars that might luckily be in the background of a planet's photo.
  2. The stars are too spread out each other that in most of the photos there might not even be a star in the dark space behind the planet.
  3. The telescopes taking the photos aren't powerful enough to take the photos of the stars clearly (very much related to the 1st point, but instead of the exposure of the camera I believe it is the telescope that's not capable or maybe made for that)

I have tried looking for answers but didn't find much, maybe if the photo was taken from an angle from where the Milky way galaxy is just right behind the object i.e planet here, we may have seen some twinkling in the background? Or am I wrong?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The photos you are talking about are likely of the "day side" of the planet, and so of course are very bright! On Earth, the Sun is not out at night. That's why you can see stars. In space, the Sun is out essentially all of the time, unless the planet being photographed is behind another planet, or you are photographing the night side of the planet. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 10 '18 at 15:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, similar idea I had, just wanted to know more about it, the link you posted is very helpful and yes, my question is a duplicate. It didn't come up in search or in suggestions for duplicates so I had to post my own. Thanks ! :) $\endgroup$ – Deepak Kamat Feb 10 '18 at 15:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There's nothing wrong with posting questions that turn out to be duplicates. To me that just means it's a good question. If you think you'd like to modify your question to make it somewhat different, I'll check back later. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 10 '18 at 15:28