NATION | 12 MARCH 2013  
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Always Sunny
Mind-blowing solar prints for sale from a DIY astronomer
10 Mins
For One

Snow in California. Floods in Massachusetts. Your flight? Cancelled (Sorry!) due to extreme weather. It’s cloudy with a strong chance of crappiness.

So here’s a little sunshine for you, courtesy of Alan Friedman, citizen astronomer.

Dubbed Sunlight, the Buffalo native’s limited edition pics, now for sale, provide a rather astonishing solar diary. Especially considering the source.

By day, Friedman is a crafter of hand silk-screened greeting cards. By night, he’s a DIY man of the stars.

Utilizing a jerry-rigged ten-inch telescope, some narrow-band filters and a 120 frames-per-second webcam (the same kind used to snap pics of your license plate) in his upstate New York backyard, Friedman uses the concept of “lucky imaging” to source high-def pics a half billion miles away of the sun’s surface.

He then inverts and colorizes the black-and-white images to highlight different aspects of the sun’s surface.

The end result: gorgeous pics of the sun’s tempestuous surface that rival the Hubble’s best work. Looping solar prominences. Erupting filaments. Sunspots. Blue fireballs.

Blue fireball

The 8"x10” and 12"x12” prints and mats are now available in limited editions of about 35 copies, yours for $550-$1350 each.

Anything else?

Says Friedman: “As we say in astronomy to say goodbye: ‘Clear skies.’”

Amen to that.

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