Andrew McCarthy, a well-known astrophotographer, captured a striking new photo of the Sun using 150,000 photos taken from his backyard.
The resultant photograph is called Fire and Fusion, and it weighs in at 300 megapixels.
McCarthy describes “A detailed look at the star.” I took around 150,000 images using an extreme magnifier. These photos combined allowed me to see the sun with incredible detail.
This image, which is 300 megapixels in size, shows our star. It’s designed to be stunning at any size. From my backyard, the details of the solar surface reflect exactly what the sun looked like at 2:29 pm on November 29th.
McCarthy has made the full-resolution image available to Patreon supporters. McCarthy’s online shop also offers the photo as a print for $50.
These are some croppings of the photo showing the amazing details McCarthy was able capture from his property at Florence, Arizona.
McCarthy writes that spots are sunspots and swirls are active areas, where the magnetic field pulls at plasma more strongly.
McCarthy’s modified telescope uses special filters (a Daystar Quark Chromosphere, Baader ERF) in order to protect his equipment. His photo does NOT capture what your eyes would see in visible sunlight (with adequate protection and filtering). The darker areas of the Sun actually have higher intensity and would appear as white in visible lighting.
McCarthy writes, “Our star’s a chaotic ball full of plasma.” “Planet-sized plasma streams snake up from the surface, dwarfed only by looming prominences or filaments. Areas of high magnetic activity are responsible for blinding energy bursts that push and pull on the solar surface, creating amazing patterns in the atmosphere.