A picture of Jupiter may be worth a thousand words, but what about more than half a million?
Veteran astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy from Arizona revealed this spectacular photo of Jupiter this month sept. 17 after capturing his best view yet of the giant planet this month. But what you’re looking at isn’t just one photo, it’s a combination of hundreds of thousands of images.
“After spending all night taking around 600,000 photos, I’m delighted to show you my sharpest shot of Jupiter yet,” McCarthy. wrote on Twitter (opens in a new tab) while sharing the image on September 9. 17. “This was captured using an 11″ telescope and a camera that I often use for deep sky work.” You can see more of McCarthy’s photos on her Instagram page. @cosmic_background (opens in a new tab) as much as your astrophotography website (opens in a new tab).
Related: See Jupiter at its closest point to Earth since 1963
McCarthy uses software to stack multiple images taken during a night sky photo session and the results are impressive. He used a similar technique to take a “ridiculously detailed” image of the moon that took months. Jupiter, she said, is always a great target for his camera eye.
“Seeing Jupiter never gets old. It’s a magnificent planet,” McCarthy told Space.com in a statement. “And while the number of photos seems like a lot, I was capturing them at about 80 per second, so it went by relatively quickly.” In all, it took about two hours to take the photos, she added.
“Conditions were very good that night, so I saw the planet in much more detail than usual, which was very exciting,” McCarthy added.
Jupiter will be at opposition by 2022 on Sept. 26, making this the best time to observe the giant planet this year. It can be easily seen with the naked eye as a bright light in the eastern night sky.
This year, the opposition of the planet will mark Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth in 59 years. It will be 591 million kilometers (367 million miles), the closest it has been to Earth since 1963.
If you hope to see Jupiter better in the future and are looking for equipment to help you, check out our guides to the best binoculars and the best telescopes to spot the giant planet and other celestial sights.
To capture the best images of Jupiter, don’t miss our recommendations for the best cameras for astrophotography Y best lenses for astrophotography. Here are our tips on astrophotography for beginners to help you get started.
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