NASA has got into the Halloween spirit by releasing an image of the Sun looking like a flaming jack-o'-lantern.
Eagle-eyed observers will instantly be able to spot the two eyes and creepy smile etched onto the flaming ball of gas by increased solar activity.
The image was actually taken back in 2014 by the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite.
Nasa said in a statement: “The active regions in this image appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy.
“They are markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the Sun's atmosphere, the corona.
“This image blends together two sets of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths…typically colourised in gold and yellow, to create a particularly Halloween-like appearance.”
The spooky face was created when activity on the Sun reached ‘solar maximum’, which can result in more sun spots.
These spots can appear as a different colour to the rest of the solar surface.
Activity on the Sun goes through an eleven year circle in which it spans from solar maximum to solar minimum and back.
During the maximum periods, sun spots and solar flares increase in intensity.
This results is warmer temperatures on Earth.
The space agency commented alongside the photo: “Even our star celebrates the spooky season — in 2014, active regions on the Sun created this jack-o’-lantern face, as seen in ultraviolet light by our Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite.”
Solar flare facts
Here’s everything you need to know…
- Earth is often struck by solar eruptions which are made up of particles hurled from the Sun into space.
- Larger amounts of hot plasma create potentially dangerous flares.
- Monster flares can break down radio communication and power supplies.
- Largest observed eruption took place in September 1859 — a phenomenon known as the “Carrington Event”.
- If the same solar storm had hit Earth today, humanity would experience widespread electrical disruptions, blackouts and damage due to huge outages of the electrical grid.
- Evidence from geological archives has shown that the Sun might have produced a small superflare in AD 775.
- A superflare is an incredibly powerful solar flare that could knock out electrical grids for months or even years on end.
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In other space news, a Samsung satellite ' carrying a Cara Delevingne selfie ' has stunned a family by crash landing into their garden.
A new Nasa planet-hunting probe has joined the search for alien life.
And, trillions of tiny alien 'robot probes' may be flying in space but are too small for Nasa to spot, shock paper claims.
Did you spot the pumpkin face in Nasa’s recent picture of the Sun? Let us know in the comments!
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