Astrophotographer publishes epic 164-megapixel portrait of the Sun

Famous astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy published a new, very impressive image. This time he photographed our Sun.

A 164-megapixel portrait of the Sun taken by astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy. Source: Andrew McCarthy

According to McCarthy, the full resolution of his image is 164 megapixels. It was made using a telescope. It took McCarthy several hours to get the image.

The image published by McCarthy is characterized by a very high degree of detail. On it you can see prominences, characteristic granules on the solar surface (they arise due to plasma convection), as well as a group of spots. Sunspots occur due to the release of strong magnetic fields into the solar photosphere. They appear darker than the surrounding surface due to their lower temperature.

Solar prominences. Source: Andrew McCarthy

At the time of the shooting, a group of spots “looked” directly at the Earth. Space weather experts carefully monitor such formations. The fact is that spots are often sources of powerful flares and coronal mass ejections. If at the time of such an event they are on the same line with the Earth, a geomagnetic storm hits our planet in a few days. It interferes with radio communications, can affect the condition of spacecraft, and also leads to the formation of intense auroras.

A group of sunspots. Source: Andrew McCarthy

This is far from the first astounding astrophotography published by Andrew McCarthy. Among his most famous works are a picture of the ISS transit against the background of the Mare Tranquillitatis, a photo of the Moon covering Mars, as well as an image of a supernova remnant.

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