A picture of the sun with a smile is being circulated around and scientists state there is a reason behind the smile!
In a Twitter post, NASA stated that the goofy, adorable grin on tee magnificent sun is an example of “coronal holes,” which appear when “fast solar wind gushes out into space.”
The photo was shot by the agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Usually, a smile means something optimistic. However, in this case, it can be treated as a warning. The phenomenon implies that there will be real-life solar events that could be devastating on Earth.
As the Washington Post describes, coronal holes like these only occur when our star is getting ready to give off the solar wind at us at extraordinary velocities.
“More so than a smiley face, its eyes are like gleaming laser beams sending particles that can cause severe disruptions to the atmosphere on Earth,” Brian Keating, a physics professor at the University of California at San Diego, told WaPo.
Keating said that if particles hit Earth with less intensity, there will be gorgeous Aurora Borealis light shows. But if they come in abundance, they could lead to massive electromagnetic storms destabilizing our telecommunication equipment.
The last time such a geomagnetic storm occurred was in 1859 and caused fires at telegraph stations.
“Scientists expect that to happen on average, with a couple of percent probability, every year, and we’ve just dodged all these magnetic bullets for so long,” the UCSD professor told WaPo. “So it could be terrifying, and the consequences could be much more dramatic, especially in our technology-dependent current society.”
For now, we should pray that the Earth smiles when the sun smiles!