A US-based astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy has shared a new series of sun photos titled “Fire and Fusion.” With over 26,000 likes on Instagram, the photos capture the streams of plasma rising from the Sun’s surface. You can buy the unframed print of the photo for $50 and it gives a look at some stunning details of the Sun.
The 300-megapixel image shows how our star looked at 2 pm on November 29 from the photographer’s backyard. He wrote on Instagram that he captured around 150,000 images using a modified telescope.
The composite image shows the “blinding bursts of energy stem from areas of heightened magnetic activity, pushing and pulling on the solar surface and creating fascinating patterns in the atmosphere,” he writes on his website.
The image has gone viral as amateur astrophotographers around the globe are amazed at the level of details he has captured from his backyard. The photo was able to capture sunspots and active regions called swirls or coronal loops. According to NASA, coronal loops are found around sunspots and in active regions.
Last year NASA released the first images from ESA/NASA’s Solar Orbiter, which included the closest pictures ever taken of the Sun. Solar Orbiter is an international collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA and was launched on February 9, 2020.
#SolarOrbiter has made its first close pass by the Sun, studying our star and space with a comprehensive suite of instruments — and the data is already revealing previously unseen details. This is #TheSunUpClose. https://t.co/rVMjz45DoY pic.twitter.com/YLKBXRNQZb
— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) July 16, 2020
Holly Gilbert, NASA project scientist for the mission said in a release that the “amazing images (from Solar Orbiter) will help scientists piece together the Sun’s atmospheric layers, which is important for understanding how it drives space weather near the Earth and throughout the solar system.”