Spooky photo: a jack-o-lantern sun

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There could be a number of ways to explain the jack-o-lantern-esque face etched last week into the sun. Perhaps the creator has jokes. Or maybe Freddy does more than haunt nightmares, and he can carve out the stars. Astrologists might blame it on Mercury going retrograde. Or maybe it’s a bunch of nothing. NASA, of course, takes away the mystery of it all with a scientific explainer:

Active regions on the sun combined to look something like a jack-o-lantern’s face on Oct. 8, 2014. The image was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, which watches the sun at all times from its orbit in space. The active regions in this image appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy. They are markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona. This image blends together two sets of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths at 171 and 193 Ångströms, typically colorized in gold and yellow, to create a particularly Halloween-like appearance.

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