Astrophotographer snaps ‘clearest ever’ photo of sun revealing swirls on surface

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The most in-depth, clearest photo of the sun ever taken has been unveiled.

Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthey pieced together 150,000 individual pictures of the sun to create a huge photo of the largest star in our solar system.

Mr McCarthey, who posts on Instagram under the name @cosmic-background, created the 300 mega pixel image, which is 30 times larger than the standard 10 megapixel camera carried by most low-budget mobile smartphones.

California-native 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.”

This is not the first mega-image created by the photographer, either.

Just last week he put 200,000 images together to created the single most detailed image of the moon ever taken.

He combined the images with height data provided by NASA and 3D software, which means he was able to work out the differences between the lunar sea and the lunar highlands.

The image of the sun has been liked more than 14,600 times, and has gone down well with his Instagram following.

In conversation with one fan, he admitted that he is hoping to add fact sheets to his future images, including data such as the anatomy of the image, and what certain areas contain.

He added: “Spots are sunspots, and the swirls are active regions, areas where the magnetic field is more active and pulls at the plasma.”

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