Well, someone’s in a good mood! NASA shared a new photo that shows the Sun in a new light, and it’s probably the best photo we’ve seen of the Sun. Or, at the very least, the cutest photo of the Sun. Can we hug the Sun?
NASA shared a new photo of the Sun taken from a satellite on October 27th, 2022 that looks like it’s perfectly in the season with Halloween just around the corner. The bright orange Sun looks like it’s smiling, with its mouth, eyes, and all.
"Today, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the sun 'smiling,'" NASA said in a Wednesday tweet. It really does look like the Sun is smiling. In the center of the bright orange and white swirls are two black spaces that look like eyes and another black section that looks like a chubby-cheeked smile.
It’s adorable, but what’s really going on?
According to NASA, this photo of the Sun was taken in ultraviolet light, and the black patches are called “coronal holes.” The coronal holes happen when “fast solar wind gushes out into space,” but we can still pretend that the Sun is smiling down on us.
In 2014, the Solar Dynamics Observatory captured another photo of the Sun in which we could see a face. That image seemed far less happy and a little more sinister, CNet reports, perhaps like the smiling Sun’s evil cousin or something.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory is the satellite that orbits around Earth, USA Today notes. The sensors on that satellite are directed toward the Sun to track solar activity and take various measurements.
NASA also released several other photos taken from the satellite, too. The additional images don’t have the happy face, but they’re equally as amazing to look at.