NASA Captures Image Of The Sun That Looks Eerily Similar To A “Jack-O-Lantern”

A photo of the sun has made a splash on social media, thanks to its eery resemblance to a smiling jack-o-lantern.

NASA shared the photo on Twitter with the caption:

“Say cheese! Today, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the Sun ‘smiling.’ ”

Astronomer and UC Professor Dr. Brian Keating pointed out that the timing of the photo corresponded with Halloween and the sun happened to look a lot like a jack-o-lantern.

“Breaking! On Halloween Eve, @NASA captures a Giant Space Pumpkin!!!” he tweeted.

NASA added in its tweet that the dark patches on the sun are “known as coronal holes and are regions where fast solar wind gushes out into space.”

According to the Space Weather Prediction Center with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, coronal holes appear dark because “they are cooler, less dense regions than the surrounding plasma and are regions of open, unipolar magnetic fields. This open, magnetic field line structure allows the solar wind to escape more readily into space, resulting in streams of relatively fast solar wind and is often referred to as a high-speed stream in the context of analysis of structures in interplanetary space.”

Photo: flickr/
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

They added that “Coronal holes can develop at any time and location on the Sun, but are more common and persistent during the years around solar minimum.”

In a post from the NASA Sun & Space twitter account, you can see a video of the rotating sun as it features the unique jack-o-lantern face.

Space is neat.

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