A NASA satellite captured an image of what appeared to be a happy face pattern on the sun earlier this week, prompting the US space agency to say the sun was seen “smiling”.
The agency posted the image on Twitter on Wednesday, writing, “Today Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the sun ‘smiling.’ Seen in ultraviolet light, these dark spots on the sun are known as coronal holes and are regions where the fast solar wind shoots out into space.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory is an agency mission to study how solar activity is created and determines space weather. First launched on February 11, 2010, the observatory’s spacecraft measures the sun’s interior, atmosphere, magnetic field and energy output.
Since it was posted, the Nasa photo has garnered a slew of responses online, with many comparing the image to a sculpted Halloween. pumpkina lion and the Sun featured on the children’s show Teletubbies.
An user replied: “Is this the face of the Stay Puf[t] Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters? »
Another one compared the sun to BN Mini Chocolate Cookies which also feature smiley faces.
Despite its friendly appearance, experts warn that the sun’s coronal holes could mean a solar storm will hit Earth on Saturday. Spaceweather.com said: “The happy mein [sic] spits a triple stream of solar wind towards the Earth.
Solar storms are a variety of eruptions of mass and energy from the solar surface which in turn distort the earth’s magnetic field. As a result, these storms increase the visibility of the aurora, also known as auroras, in the northern and southern hemispheres.