The NASA Solar Observatory captured the “smiling” sun. These dark spots, seen in ultraviolet light, are known as coronal holes and are regions where fast solar winds flow into space. (NASA)
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WASHINGTON — A NASA observatory has captured what appeared to be a jack-o’-lantern smile on the surface of the sun, showing what are actually spots on the sun’s surface that are cooler than the surrounding areas.
The image, captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Space Observatory, was shared by the space agency on social media last week, resulting in an outpouring of feedback on what looks like an irregular dark spot pattern.
The official Twitter account of NASA’s Heliophysics department simply referred to it as “smiling“The sun, while the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council has been affected Pumpkin Photoshops Pictured, turned into a jack-o’-lantern.
However, the darker areas that make up the facial pattern are the so-called coronal holes, which appear as irregular black spots when photographed with the sun’s UV rays or certain types of X-ray images, according to space agency.
Coronal holes are not as hot as the surrounding areas and are not as dense, which makes them darker in appearance. They can appear on the surface of the sun at any time.
Their magnetic field structure also creates coronal holes to release streams of solar wind, or charged particles, at speeds of more than a million miles per hour. This wind is strong enough to reach the ground. our planet magnetic field, Acting as a shield, it greatly deflects the activity of the solar wind, but it can disturb the atmosphere.
NASA’s Solar Energy Observatory, or SDO, routinely takes such images of the sun and monitors its activity on an almost continuous basis. Launched in 2010, the Orbital Observatory is part of the space agency’s Living With a Star program, which aims to analyze how solar activity affects our home planet and the distance between Earth and our star.