'Fire and Fusion' Photo of Sun Taken From Backyard 'Better Than NASA's'
The remarkable image of the Sun was not captured by an orbital telescope or space probe; it was taken by an astrophotographer from his backyard.
Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy’s latest picture of the Sun has generated tremendous interest on Instagram, after he stitched together 150,000 images of the orb to form a 300 megapixel image he entitled “Fire and Fusion”.
“My imagery is about revealing the invisible,” wrote the astrophotographer about the swirling mass of hot gases that seems almost life-like.
The author’s rapt followers on social media enthused asking questions about the filters he used, and confessing that it was pics like his that could inspire a lifelong desire to “start stargazing and astrophotography.”
McCarthy, known for his high-quality images of the moon and planets captured from his garden in Sacramento, California, typically refers to himself as “just a normal guy with a telescope” on his Instagram account.
“Ordinarily, taking a telescope and pointing at the Sun would be incredibly dangerous. It can lead to blindness and potentially starting a fire,” McCarthy was quoted as saying in a recent NPR interview.
He explained that he applied different filters within the telescope, allowing in a “very narrow portion of light” that lets him zoom in on details on the surface of the Sun that would be otherwise impossible to see.
Many users enthused that his pictures of the Sun are “better than NASA's”.