Nasa has shared incredible images from space that appear to show the Sun pulling an uncanny smiling face.
The dark patches in the image are coronal holes - regions where fast solar winds gush out into space. The phenomenon, which began on Oct 26, is still continuing, Nasa said.
The scenes have been captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft, which observes the Sun’s dynamics to "increase understanding of the nature and sources of solar variability".
Say cheese! 📸
Today, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the Sun "smiling." Seen in ultraviolet light, these dark patches on the Sun are known as coronal holes and are regions where fast solar wind gushes out into space. pic.twitter.com/hVRXaN7Z31
— NASA Sun, Space & Scream 🎃 (@NASASun) October 26, 2022
In a tweet, the agency said: “Today, Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the Sun ‘smiling.’
“Seen in ultraviolet light, these dark patches on the Sun are known as coronal holes and are regions where fast solar wind gushes out into space.”
The SDO documents the outer atmosphere of the Sun - called the corona - as well as hot flare plasma. Every 12 seconds, the organisation photographs the Sun in ten different wavelengths of ultraviolet light.
Nasa explains: "Hot active regions, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections will appear bright here.
"The dark areas - called coronal holes - are places where very little radiation is emitted, yet are the main source of solar wind particles."
The SDO studies how energy is stored and released in the Sun’s atmosphere, where the Sun’s energy come from, and the interior of the imploded star so we can better model and forecast "space weather."