A 24-Hour Panorama Of Planet Earth

<p>Chris Kotsiopoulos stitches together almost 600 pictures to create a visualization of planet Earth.</p>

Perhaps ironically, Chris Kotsiopoulos' photograph of Earth in a single day is nothing short of unworldly.

The Greek astronomer and photographer began with a question: Is it possible to capture the life of planet Earth in 24 hours? With his ambition in one hand and a Canon 550D in the other, Kosiopoulos planted himself atop the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion for 30 straight hours to find out.

On December 20, 2010, just hours before sunrise, Kotsiopoulos set his camera on a tripod facing east, capturing the position of the sun every 15 minutes using an intervalometer and astrosolar filter. At the sun’s peak, Kotsiopoulos removed the filter, capturing the sun in an unwavering resplendence, clearly identifiable in the photo. As the sun began to set, Kotsiopoulos shifted the camera to face west and northwest, catching the second half of the day with the sun in view. At approximately 7:13 PM, the photographer began shooting all night star trails, which are what those Saturn-like rings hovering above Saint John are. After almost 11 hours, Kotsiopoulos again turned the camera northeast and east to capture a "night-to-day" transition.

Kotsiopoulos pulled together 500 star trails, 35 shots of the Sun and 25 landscape pictures. The result? This incredible image—a 24-hour planet panorama.

The photographer gives his own detailed account of the experience, including how he prepped, the challenges he faced, equipment and software used, the shooting play-by-play, and finally, the processing of the final photograph. Head over to his site to hear it from him. While you're at it, check out some of his other surreal work.