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Astrophotographer snaps his ‘clearest ever photo of the sun’


You won’t see many clearer pictures of the sun than this (Pictures: @cosmic_background / Animal News Agency)

An astrophotographer has finally seen the light – capturing the clearest and most detailed image of the sun he has ever taken.

Andrew McCarthy layered 150,000 individual pictures of the glowing ball of fire to convey the intricate stunning detail of the solar system’s largest star.

The photographer, known as @cosmic_background, defines the tiny craters and fiery ripples which emanate from the burning space mass, as well as a building space flare.

All can be seen within the huge final 300 megapixel image – 30 times bigger than a standard 10 megapixel camera image.

In its most close-up view, swirls and feather-type patterns can be seen by the human eye, alongside mysterious black hole formations.

The dark spots in the images are actually inverted by the photographic process and in reality are very bright high energy areas of the burning star.

The process is a difficult one and requires a specialist telescope with two filters, in order to prevent a fire, and the photographer going blind.

The dark spots in the images are actually inverted by the photographic process and in reality are very bright high energy areas (Credits: @Cosmic_Background / Animal News Agency)

Andrew said: ‘It isn’t until I am done processing an image that I actually see what it really looks like, and this was a very special one.

‘I always get excited about photographing the sun, it is really interesting because it is always different. While the moon is more of a benchmark of how clear the skies are, the sun is never boring and it was a very good day on the sun that day.’

‘To create the extreme magnification I used a modified telescope.

‘Combined, those photos allowed me to see the sun in incredible detail.’ added Andrew, who lives in Arizona USA.

The sun, a glowing ball of helium and hydrogen, is the only star in our solar system, and is 4.5billion years old.

At the core of the sun temperatures top 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.


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