Solar photographer captures the CLEAREST video of the SUN he's ever taken

·2-min read

This stunning, blood-red image of the Sun is one of the 'clearest' photos ever taken of it from earth.

The amazing close-up of the star which is a staggering 93m miles from earth was captured using an ultra-sharp telescope.

Astronomical photographer Andrew McCarthy has been photographing the sun and the moon for three years - but this month, he took on his "most unique challenge" yet.

Using a new, ultra-sharp solar telescope, Andrew, from California, USA, was able to capture the sharpest photos of the Sun he has ever taken.

He layered thousands of images over each other to capture enormous detail of the Sun.

The huge, round Sun glows a deep, dramatic red in Andrew's photos, highlighted against a dark sky in the huge 230 megapixel image.

And Andrew's photos are so clear that even the plasma right at the outer edge of the Sun can be seen on camera - dancing around in the atmosphere like a flame.

Andrew, who post his photos on his @cosmic_background Instagram page,  created the striking image by taking almost 100,000 individual photos of the Sun - at a rate of about 100 photos per second.

He said: "I was very pleased with the final result.

"I wasn't sure if the image would turn out so well, as stitching together a large photo of the sun comes with unique challenges that I've never dealt with before."

"But I will definitely be producing more of these."

He added: "To capture the sun in more detail than I've ever attempted, I assembled a new solar telescope that gave me 4000mm of focal length, about 10x the magnification of my previous telescope. 

"I used a technique called 'lucky imaging', so the best frames from a particular session are stacked together to help reduce the effects of the atmosphere. 

"These photos were captured just before noon, when the sun was high in the sky but while the atmosphere was still relatively calm. 

"By capturing close up details of the surface with this rig, timed when the atmosphere was very still, I was able to produce sharp details on its surface.

"These objects around the edge of the Sun are known as a 'prominence' - a mass of plasma suspended in the solar atmosphere by the sun's powerful magnetic field. 

"These happen quite frequently, and last a long time."

To see more of Andrew's amazing astrophotography, visit his Instagram page @cosmic_background, or go to https://www.patreon.com/ajamesmccarthy.