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150,000 images combined to make this mind-blowing 300-megapixel photo of the Sun

Published Dec 2nd, 2021 7:10PM EST
Image: NASA Goddard / SDO

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Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy has released a new series of sun photos that perfectly capture the intensity of our star.

The photo, which McCarthy shared on his Instagram and in a Reddit post, offers a detailed look at our star. McCarthy created the photo using 150,000 images he captured with a telescope. After capturing, he combined the photos to create one of the most detailed looks at the sun that we’ve ever seen, and it’s something that everybody should see for themselves.

These new sun photos are absolutely glorious

McCarthy captured the photos using a modified solar telescope. In the Reddit post, he warned that users shouldn’t look at the sun through a telescope normally. However, his telescope has been modified to purge the heat captured when directing it at the star. This lets him capture sun photography without his camera catching on fire.

To make this picture happen, McCarthy captured over 300,000 images. But, he only used the best 150,000 images to make the photo. He then combined those images together to help remove the distortion effects of the atmosphere. The result is an incredibly sharp image that shows tons of detail along the sun’s surface.

When looking at the photo, you can clearly see the textures that make up the surface of the star. Also, solar flares can be seen sprouting from the side of the star. It’s an exceptional shot of sun photography. If you’re a space lover, then you’re definitely going to want to check it out.

How McCarthy captured these photos

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The sun shines on a clear day outdoors. Image source: sbw19/Adobe

Because of how dangerous it is to look at the sun through a telescope, McCarthy had to use a special type of telescope. There are, obviously a lot of guides out there on how to photograph the sun easily, but it sounds like McCarthy used a bit more of a professional setup than just an iPhone 13.

According to a response made by McCarthy on the Reddit thread, he used a solar telescope with a narrow bandpass. This allowed him to capture sun photography with higher contrast. He did note in the response that it can be quirky. And, unless you get a good photo you might not see very much.

While the main photograph is a zoomed-out look at the sun, McCarthy did include a few close-up zooms in his Instagram post. He created the original sun photo at 300 megapixels. That’s a bit difficult to host on social platforms like Reddit. McCarthy has the full-scale photo available on his Patreon.

McCarthy also previously shared some stunning photos of our recent partial lunar eclipse. It was the longest partial eclipse we’d experienced in almost 600 years.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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