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Together, two skilled astrophotographers captured an amazing photo of the annular eclipse of the previous year. With just one month until the impending total solar eclipse, Andrew McCarthy and Dan Stein spent months refining the image before releasing it. The 1.69-gigapixel panorama, titled Ring of the Gods, is a composite of thousands of individual images and can be viewed in close detail. McCarthy and Stein set up shop in the Utah desert with an assortment of gear to guarantee they could get a picture of the eclipse passing over a butte.

McCarthy told PetaPixel, "What makes it special is that it was taken with a hydrogen-alpha telescope and white, unfiltered light." Thus, it has enough detail to enable the observation of the Sun's atmospheric features. When you magnify, you can see spicula and prominences in the solar chromosphere.

The actual photo shoot wasn't too complicated, but what transpired before and following tells a different tale. The location of the shoot was carefully planned so that the annular eclipse would precisely align with the butte. Then, because McCarthy's computer kept crashing due to the massive amount of data that was captured, editing became extremely difficult. However, the men were able to realise their vision after working on it for five months.

Stein's landscape and McCarthy's high-resolution Sun image combine to create a seamless panorama. McCarthy said, "Dan's extraordinary talent for landscape photography combined with my background shooting the Sun in h-alpha gave us the skill set needed to make something special, unlike any landscape photo I've ever seen."

Both men are currently preparing for April 8, when they will undoubtedly be outside taking pictures of the total solar eclipse as it crosses over North America.

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