NASA has shared an image of the sun ‘smiling’ after one of their satellites captured patterns on the sun’s surface that appeared to reveal a happy face.
NASA posted the images on social media, writing: “NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captures the sun’s ‘smile’. In ultraviolet light, these dark spots on the sun, called coronal holes, are Regions where the fast solar wind rushes into space.”
People were quick to make comparisons to various characters and objects, including Teletubbies, the Ghostbusters Marshmallow Man, Cookies, Lions, and Pumpkins.
“If Teletubbies had chosen a realistic sun, this would be it,” one person tweeted.
While another said: “Seems like all those kids who draw smiling suns in preschool are doing something…”
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory was established in 2010 to study how solar activity is generated and how it drives space weather.
Observatory spacecraft measure the Sun’s interior, atmosphere, magnetic field and energy output.
SpaceWeather.com, which monitors all forms of space weather, issued a warning under the headline “It’s not a laughing matter,” saying the smiley face was formed by a hole in the sun’s atmosphere, but “expels three solar winds toward Earth.”
It said first contact with the aurora could occur on Saturday.
Solar storms occur when the sun releases huge bursts of energy in the form of solar flares and coronal mass ejections.
These phenomena send currents of electric charge and magnetic field toward Earth at speeds of about 3 million miles per hour.
As scary as this may sound, the results will be far more engaging than Armageddon.
When a solar storm hits Earth, it interferes with the planet’s magnetic field, producing aurora around the Arctic and Antarctic circles — the Northern Lights, or Northern Lights, in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Southern Lights, or Southern Lights, in the South.
It can sometimes be seen south of the Arctic Circle, so parts of Scotland can watch the light show this Halloween weekend, with clear skies making Saturday night a good time to appreciate the phenomenon.