Colossal one-million-mile-long plume shooting out from the sun’s surface is captured by astrophotgrapher: Stunning image shows glowing stream of plasma that traveled 100,000mph because it floated off into space
- An amateur astrophotogropher took greater than 1,000,000 images of the sun over a six-hour span
- A solar storm was erupted, leading to a the most important solar prominence he has ever witnessed
- A plume of plasma began to form from the prominence that grew until it was about a million miles long, then broke off and floated off into space until it disappeared
An amateur astrophotogropher pointed his telescope toward the sun and observed a plume shooting out from the fiery surface at 100,000 miles per hour because it grew to multiple million miles long.
Andrew McCarthy, who lives in Arizona, told DailyMail.com that he spent six hours taking greater than 1,000,000 pictures that he ‘stitched’ together for the ultimate image – but since the plume was so massive, he could only capture half of it within the photo.
The ejection of energetic and highly magnetized, superheated gas, or coronal mass ejection (CME), was released from what McCarthy said was the most important solar prominence he has ever witnessed – the intense feature extending outward from the surface was about 500,000 miles wide.
The day McCarthy observed the sun was also when a minor solar storm flared on the sun, which led to the formation of the big prominence that caught his attention.
‘I noticed the big prominence began to lift off -a clear sign that something exciting was about to occur,’ he said.
‘So I kept my telescope pointed [at] it and watched the CME form.
‘These are the moments solar astronomers live for.’
Andrew McCarthy captured a colossal plume shooting out from the sun. The stream of plasma stretched for about a million miles. The event happened during a minor solar storm
The colossal plume formed on September 24, which was the day a solar storm erupted on the sun.
Nevertheless, the storm ranked in the bottom category and can have been missed by eyes on Earth.
The plume of plasma began appearing from the enormous prominence after which broke off, flying into space at around 100,000 miles per hour, in accordance with McCarthy who also live-tweeted the event.
The pictures were taken using a modified five-inch refractor telescope, which McCarthy said ‘it must be modified because pointing a telescope on the sun would blind you otherwise.’
The plume began to slowly grow, reaching 200,000 miles after which 600,000 before reaching greater than 1,000,000 and breaking off into space.
‘That is the space from Earth to JWST [Jame Webb Space Telescope],’ he shared in a tweet.
McCarthy, who has a gallery of stunning images showing the wonders of space, kept his eyes on the plume for at the least two hours, watching it break off and float into space where it became more of a moon-sized blob, somewhat than the roaring ball of superheated gas it initially was.
And the farther it moved, the fainter it became.
‘The prominence you see within the photo extends around 500,000 miles, possibly a bit less,’ McCarthy told DailyMail.com.
McCarthy took greater than 1,000,000 pictures of the sun and stitched them together for the ultimate piece. He watched the plume grow until it broke off and floated off into space. Pictured is a raw image he took
‘It’s easy to visualise once you realize the sun is 865,000 miles wide!
‘The little bits I tracked in my live tweets were closer to 1,000,000 miles out, but those didn’t make it into the ultimate photo.’
McCarthy continued to elucidate that because so many images were used he incorporated a way called ‘lucky imaging in his shots.
‘I exploit TIFF format (many astrophotographers use video format) because I find it gives me more control over rejecting bad frames when my wind picked up or seeing conditions worsened,’ he said.
Our atmosphere makes things tricky sometimes.’’
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