It’s only one picture this Saturday, but what a pic it is:
This burned up the intertoobs a couple of days ago, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it comes straight out of the NASA laboratories. My first thought was that it was courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is currently taking awesome images of our sun.
But it’s not. It was taken from the Buffalo, New York backyard of a astrophotographer named Alan Friedman, using a telescope with a mere 3.5-inch aperture…and a $5,000 filter that screens out all of the brighter light of the Sun’s photosphere. What is left is a narrow band of color in the hydrogen alpha range, and that — plus some pretty cool computer processing — is what makes this photo so amazing.
To see a much bigger version, and to read more about the taking of this shot, check out the Wired article on it. To read more specifics about the astronomical phenomena visible in the photo (and to see a pretty boggling superimposition of the Earth on it), check out Bad Astronomy.