Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2011 January 17
See Explanation.
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Night and Day above Almost Planet Sounio
Credit & Copyright: Chris Kotsiopoulos (GreekSky)

Explanation: Has a new planet been discovered? What is pictured above is a remarkable 24 hour mosaic surrounding a spot on Sounio, Greece, right here on planet Earth. Images taken at night compose the top half of the picture, with star trails lasting as long as 11 hours visible. Contrastingly, images taken during the day compose the bottom of the image, with the Sun being captured once every 15 minutes. The image center shows a Little Prince wide angle projection centered on the ground but including gravel, grass, trees, Saint John's church, clouds, crepuscular rays, and even a signature icon of the photographer -- the Temple of Poseidon. Meticulous planning as well as several transition shots and expert digital processing eventually culminated in this image documenting half of the final two days of last year.

Tomorrow's picture: garden variety galaxy

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