Giant 145 MP photo shows the Sun in incredible detail

Talented astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy has published an amazing 145-megapixel image of the Sun taken with a specially modified telescope. The incredible details of our nearest star are a complex image that is reducible to simultaneously capturing two atmospheres of the Sun.

145-megapixel photo of the Sun. Photo: Andrew McCarthy

The first is the corona, the most distant part of the Sun’s atmosphere, which McCarthy shot back in 2017 with a Canon Digital Rebel and a 300mm Tamron telephoto lens. The first snapshot was taken with automatic settings. “I believe the exposure was about one second,” explains the astrophotographer. 

To create the next photo, the photographer’s approach was completely different. The second element of the photo – the chromosphere – was taken in early August 2022. But this required a much more advanced kit than just a Canon Rebel. The enthusiast used several additional filters, including a hydrogen alpha filter called the “day quark”, which allows seeing a narrow bandwidth of light that makes visible the atmospheric details of the chromosphere.

The chromospheric image is a mosaic of about 45 tiles, each of which consists of 2,000 photographs created thanks to a telescope with a focal length of 4000 mm

The corona and chromosphere are almost impossible to photograph together due to the extreme difference in brightness, so McCarthy put the image together so that the two solar atmospheres could be placed in one impressive image.

Lucky Imaging Method

McCarthy says he’s constantly tinkering with his telescope, using non-standard and modified parts to get very detailed images. He also shared his way of getting such a strikingly detailed photo. It uses the Lucky Imaging method.

“Lucky Imaging is about taking thousands of photos of something in a few minutes. Then you need to compose the resulting images using software that will make your image much clearer,” explains McCarthy.

This is not the first time that McCarthy’s celestial images have conquered the Internet. He and Connor Matern created a fascinating 174-megapixel image of the Moon, which they spent two years on.

Recall that earlier a strikingly rare atmospheric phenomenon stunned eyewitnesses.

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