Say I am in a space shuttle and have reached outer space. Is it true that during the day it possible to see stars outside through the window? Do I have to wait until night? Why is this the case?

  • $\begingroup$ A small correction: you can't reach outer space in a Space Shuttle, because it couldn't go that far (600 km was the theoretical maximum AFAIR). So, you get a new dawn (and a new dusk) every 90 minutes or so. Yes, you can see the stars when NOT looking at the Sun. You'll be disappointed at how tiny they are, though (no atmosphere). Please note that photos can't show the stars because of enormous dynamic range required. $\endgroup$ Jul 22 '13 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry ! using outer space i mean outside the earths atmosphere. thanks u for your correction $\endgroup$
    – S J
    Jul 23 '13 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ Some other thing to ask is, what is day and night in outer space?! $\endgroup$
    – Ali
    Aug 1 '13 at 6:11

There is no day and night in space!

Day and night on earth are defined as times when the earth is whether we are facing towards the sun or opposite to the sun. When we are facing the sun, the light from the sun scatters due to the atmosphere and makes the sky appear blue.

On moon there is very little atmosphere, so even during the day, the sky appears black. So theoretically, if you can sustain the heat and the blinding radiation from the sun, you should be able to see stars when you are facing the sun on the moon. Similarly in a space shuttle.

P.S. I surprisingly couldn't find any links on google regarding how daytime would look on the moon. has no one ever wondered about this?

  • $\begingroup$ No atmosphere - so hardly any scattering of light. It's just a dark sky with the sun. I don't know if this is a real picture, but it's pretty much how it'd look. Just that the moon-surface would look brighter, I guess. : en.es-static.us/upl/2010/06/sunrise_on_moon_300.jpg $\endgroup$ Jul 22 '13 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ @mikhailcazi, Shouldn't the dust on the moon glow bright? just like ice does on a sunny day. $\endgroup$
    – udiboy1209
    Jul 22 '13 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ That's what I'm saying - I don't think it's a real picture - just an animated one. But that's how it would be, right? And yup, I mentioned that above :D $\endgroup$ Jul 22 '13 at 12:22

The Apollo astronauts in cislunar space said their sky was totally black, not even little points of light, no planets other than Earth, and they did not even take a photo of the Sun or describe its appearance. What gives?

  • $\begingroup$ They certainly did take photos of the Sun, especially in Skylab. Also, direct imaging of the Sun was used to verify the orientation of Apollo 13 after the gyroscope calibration was transferred by hand from the command module to LEM guidance systems. $\endgroup$ May 9 '17 at 2:44

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