At first glance, the blazing orange sphere looks like a science textbook close-up of a microscopic structure, like a cell or virus. Closer inspection reveals roiling swirls, fiery streaks, gnarls, spots, and filaments dancing energetically on its surface. The mesmerizing photograph, titled “Fire and Fusion,” is actually a stunningly crisp portrait of the Earth’s sun, exactly as it looked on November 29th at 2pm from astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy’s backyard in Arizona.
McCarthy, who describes himself as “just a normal guy with a telescope,” layered approximately 150,000 images of the sun to capture the intricate details of our closest star.
“Ordinarily, pointing a telescope at the sun is an incredibly bad idea, leading to equipment damage or even blindness,” McCarthy told Hyperallergic. “However, by modifying my telescope to purge the heat created by the sun while allowing a very small sliver of the visible light spectrum through, I can resolve details on the solar chromosphere, a feat otherwise impossible.”
“By taking thousands of pictures ultra-magnified of the surface, I can also eliminate the distortion effects from the atmosphere,” he added.
He then assembled the images as a mosaic, achieving a 300-megapixel photograph despite using a two-megapixel camera. The full-resolution picture, McCarthy’s clearest photo ever of the sun, is available for supporters to download on his Patreon page.
“You can see sunspots and active regions on the sun, those are areas where the electromagnetic field of the sun is excited and doing really interesting things like forming knots on the surface,” McCarthy said in an interview with NPR today.
“Sometimes we take the beautiful things in our life for granted. We all see the sun every single day, you walk outside your house, it’s right there,” he continued. “But it’s incredibly beautiful and we’re incredibly lucky to have it. It really helps us understand our place in the universe, by looking at it.”
The highest resolution images ever taken of the sun were captured by the National Science Foundation’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope near the summit of Haleakala, Hawaii last year. Those pictures, taken at 789 nanometers, revealed the star in “unprecedented detail,” showing popcorn-like patterns of boiling plasma enveloping the solar surface.
Black American Portraits features over two centuries of artworks centering Black artists and subjects.
A love of Black art and history was the bedrock of the friendship between Dell Marie Hamilton and Susan Denker, who had markedly different racial, economic, and generational subject positions.
With what he says is his final museum bow, Fitzpatrick shines a light on the colorful diversity that composes his city.
The question of race — however hidden, however camouflaged by the shouts of the crowds — is a constant theme and an unanswered challenge.
Weisman Museum of Art Presents Highlights From the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection
An exhibition at Pepperdine University in Malibu chronicles the achievements and contributions of African Americans over the last five centuries.
Brink is not a fun book, and it shouldn’t be.
Those who want to visit the museum muse have a surgical, KN95, N95, or KF94 face mask.
The residency program awards 17 visual artists a year of rent-free studio space in New York City. Applications are due by February 15.
This week, another Benin bronze is returned to Nigeria, looking at the Black Arts Movement in the US South, Senegal’s vibrant new architecture, why films are more gray, and much more.
It is precisely Moon’s openness to using any source that makes her work flamboyant, captivating, odd, funny, smart, uncanny, comically monstrous, and unsettling. And, most of all, over the top.
Tensions between resistance to Surrealism as cultural imperialism and the embrace of it as a universalist vision of freedom unfettered run through the show.