Images like this might not look like anything new, but they’re usually acquired by the likes of NASA. These pictures, however, were taken by a dude in his humble backyard.
Captured using a telescope and webcam by Alan Friedman of Buffalo, New York, the most important component he has at his disposal is a Hydrogen Alpha filter. That blocks outs everything but a very narrow slice of the deep red end of the visible spectrum. Friedman explains:
Our atmosphere is a formidable obstacle to capturing sharp photos of a distant object. Streaming many frames in a short period of time allows me to temper the blurring effects of air turbulence. Each photo is made from many thousands of frames. Most frames are unusable, distorted by the heat currents rising from rooftops and asphalt driveways. But a few will be sharp. I review the video frame by frame for these moments of “good seeing.” The high quality frames are selected and then averaged to form the raw material for my photographs.