“Say cheese!” NASA shared a unique picture of the Sun smiling!
The power of smiles is so great that they can make a big difference in turning a bad day into a good one, even if it’s a non-human smile. NASA has just captured a heartwarming postcard of the Sun, where the star appears to be smiling at us in its most dazzling version.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched into space in 2011, the first mission of the Living With a Star (LWS) program, which is dedicated to understanding the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth by studying the atmosphere of the Sun.
For more than a decade, it has been sending data from our host star, to understand its nature. But not all is serious in solar research, the space agency, through its official Twitter account NASA Sun & Space, shared a photograph taken of the Sun by the SDO where the Sun seems to be addressing us with a wide smile.
“Say cheese,” can be read at the beginning of the tweet. “Today, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the Sun ‘smiling.’ Seen in ultraviolet light, these dark patches on the Sun are known as coronal holes and are regions where the fast solar wind gushes out into space,” the account explains.
Strangely, the chaotic fluctuations of the Sun this time took the form of two holes at the top that resemble a pair of eyes, while another of the coronal holes extends at the bottom as if elongating towards the ends giving the appearance of a smile.
It is an amazing photograph that shows us the power of the mind, of course, it is not a genuine smile of the Sun, instead what we think we observe is due to the phenomenon known as ‘pareidolia’. This is a psychological phenomenon that makes us observe images, figures, and human faces where there are none.
Although the bright and tender smile of the Sun appears genuine to our eyes, it is nothing more than a play of the mind, albeit on a scale of cosmic proportions. This is perhaps the greatest pareidolia we have ever observed.
Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera