NASA captures photo of ‘smiling’ Sun It’s not as pretty as it looks.

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Turns out there was anyone who drew a smiley-faced sun as a child Scientifically proven – partially – right. Last week, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a picture of the largest object in our solar system, like “Ghostbusters,” the baby-faced “Teletubbies” sun, or Jack-o-Lantern (if you’re into it) Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man. (back into the Halloween spirit)

But what seems A scrub daddy sponge It may not be as pretty as it seems. For those of us on Earth, we can create the sun emoji A beautiful Aurora view – or it could mean problems for the planet’s telecommunications systems.

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The Sun, he said, is, in essence, “the largest nuclear reactor in our solar system.” Brian Keating, professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego. From turning hydrogen into helium to producing the same amount of heat as several nuclear bombs to electrical storms and earthquakes—a ruckus happens every second in the massive, spinning, glowing ball of hot gas.

Some of that solar activity was photographed Wednesday by a NASA satellite, Keating told The Washington Post.

In the image, the three spots that make up the “face” — invisible to the human eye because they’re in the ultraviolet spectrum — are called coronal holes, or slightly cooler regions of the Sun’s outer layer. , which usually has a temperature of about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We’re talking about a few hundred degrees, so it’s not like some ski resort,” Keating said. “But because they are so dark that we see them in ultraviolet radiation that cannot be seen with the naked eye, [NASA satellite] seeing them as dark holes.”

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Only coronal holes are absent Interesting patterns moving around the Sun’s surface. They are regions of high magnetic field activity that steadily send the solar wind – or stream of protons, electrons and other particles – into the universe.

“Rather than a smiley face, its eyes send out particles like glowing laser beams that can cause serious disruptions to Earth’s atmosphere,” Keating said.

Particles that carry an electric charge, when they hit the planet as small sizes, Colorful auroras Gases of the atmosphere interact with the sun’s burp-up energy to produce spectacular displays. Problems would arise if large numbers of tiny particles hit Earth, Keating said. Instead of being absorbed by the Earth’s magnetic field, they are picked up by radio antennas and disrupt radio, television and other communication channels. Severe solar storms can damage power grids and cause power outages, Keating added.

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe flew through the Sun’s upper atmosphere on Dec. 14 to sample particles and magnetic fields there. (Video: NASA Goddard)

when Pictures of the smiling sun have been taken before – for example, back in 2013 “Ate a Comet” Or in 2014 when NASA dubbed it a “Pumpkin Sun”– The dire situation described by Keating has not happened in almost two centuries. The last intense geomagnetic storm to hit Earth 1859 Carrington IncidentIt caused auroras to appear in tropical regions and caused fires in many telegraph stations.

A massive event like that has been a long time coming, he said.

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“Scientists expect this to happen with an average probability of a couple of percent every year, and we’ve been dodging all these magnetic bullets for so long,” Keating said. “So it’s going to be very scary, and the consequences are going to be very dramatic, especially in our current technology-driven society.”

Particles from the Sun from the latest smiling event may reach Earth just in time for the ghost night of the year.

“We might have something on our way by Halloween night,” Keating said. “Pretty scary, but not too scary.”

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center provided A small geomagnetic storm is on the lookout for Saturday, with warnings that conditions could change from “unsettled” to “active.” The eruption of coronal holes is expected to continue through Wednesday.

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