When I am watching the NASA channel I notice that when astronauts are outside the space shuttle there are no stars visible behind you. It is totally black. I would have thought that being in space would make stars more brighter and easier to see.
Kathryn Sullivan, director of Battelle Center at Ohio State, responds:
Next time you watch some of these activities, think about some key features of the scene. What color is the exterior of the station? The robotic arm boom? The astronauts' spacesuits? You'll observe that all these things are white, to reflect away as much of the sun's intense light and energy as possible. Next look at how much detail you can see on the white hardware. Usually you'll find you can see a lot of detail (depending, of course, on whether you're looking at a wide-angle overview or a closeup scene). A video camera setting that can capture good detail in an extremely bright scene is one that will not be able to capture stars at the same time. You'd have to open up the camera iris quite a lot to get a good image of the stars.