Halloween Sun looks like a giant jack-o'-lantern
just in time for Halloween, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft captured this haunting image of what looks like a jack-o'-lantern pumpkin Sun.
The picture was created by blending two images of the Sun showing active regions which were visible from Earth on October 8th, 2014.
The active regions appear brighter because they are emitting more light and energy, marking the location of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields in the Sun's outer atmosphere, the corona.
The image combined two sets of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths at 171 and 193 angstroms which have been colourized gold and yellow to create the Halloween like appearance.
Images at 171 angstroms are used to study the corona and upper transition region, while 193 angstrom images are used to examine the corona and plasma from hot flares.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory was launched in February 2010 from Cape Canaveral in Florida on an Atlas V rocket.
The spacecraft was placed in a geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of 35,789 kilometres from where it can study the Sun's atmosphere and how its magnetic field is generated and structured.