Sometimes an unexpected smile is all it takes to turn your day around. Well, that kind of cheery surprise doesn’t get much bigger than this.
Astronomers at NASA have spotted the Sun beaming a remarkable, joyous grin, in a sunny spectacle destined to put a smile on your dial.
As shared on NASA’s Sun Twitter account, this incredible image reveals the Sun looking positively radiant in more ways than one.
Of course, the ‘smile’ we see here isn’t actually a real smile. What we’re looking at are coronal holes (the dark patches), where fast bursts of solar wind gush out into space, as NASA explains.
It just so happens – amidst all the crazy solar fluctuations the Sun tends to exhibit – that two of these coronal holes kind of look like twinkling eyes, while a third uncannily resembles an exuberant smile.
What’s really going on here is the phenomenon of pareidolia, where we imagine seeing things like faces in random patterns.
It’s a trick of the mind, only this time it’s being played out on a stupendous, Sun-sized scale.
As some keen-eyed Twitter users have observed, the Sun’s visage here doesn’t only look like a smiling face.
The particular proportions of that exultant grin bear a striking similarity to the facial configuration of a certain legendary villain of Ghostbusters lore: the Stay Puft marshmallow man.
Yes, it really is quite the coincidence.
The phrase ‘separated at birth’ even springs to mind, even if it’s just another example of people seeing something that isn’t really there.
But even if this is just a meaningless, random confluence of mysterious solar physics, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get a laugh out of it.
So enjoy! And always try to look for the positives in life wherever you can.
Let the Sun be your shining example.