An astrophotographer recently managed to capture a shot of a “plasma tree” on the surface of the Sun. The tree itself was clocked in at over 80,000 miles high. According to the astrophotographer, Andrew McCarthy, the tree was created by plasma pulled away from the sun by its magnetic field.
This isn’t the first time that McCarthy has managed to capture some gorgeous photos of the Sun. Back in December, he combined over 150,000 images to make a 300-megapixel photo of the Sun. That gave us an amazing look at the star that sits at the center of our galaxy. This new photo, though, shows us one of the lesser-known occurrences that happen on the Sun’s surface.
Check out this photo of a 80,000 mile plasma tree on the Sun
You can check out the photograph of the plasma tree on McCarthy’s Instagram and Twitter. McCarthy also has several shots up for purchase on his website. McCarthy said that he captured the photo from his backyard on January 12, so it’s been a few weeks since the shot was first captured.
It is worth noting that capturing photos of the sun using a telescope is extremely dangerous. In fact, McCarthy has spoken many times about the danger that pointing a telescope at the sun poses. McCarthy recently showcased the effects aiming a telescope at the Sun can have on your eye in a tweet. As such, you shouldn’t try capturing shots like this without the proper equipment.
The Sun continues to be a marvel
Despite being such an important part of our lives — we rely on the Sun for a lot —there’s still a lot we don’t know about our star. In fact, just last year, we managed to get a spacecraft through the outer layer of the Sun’s atmosphere. This allowed us to “touch the Sun“, even if it was a bit more figurative than literal. Now, with photographs like this, we can get a look at things like plasma trees.
Seeing astrophotographers like McCarthy capture such insane photographs of the Sun is inspiring. Not only that, but it gives me hope that we’ll continue to see some great new developments from more powerful setups like the James Webb Space Telescope. If you want to see more great photos from McCarthy, make sure to check out his Twitter and Instagram accounts, where he posts updates and new composites pretty often.