Even the Sun is getting into the Halloween spirit this year. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) just captured these awesome images of solar activity that make it look like the Sun has decided to dress up as the solar system’s largest, creepiest jack-o’-lantern.
The SDO has three instruments. The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager studies the magnetic field on the Sun’s surface. The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly is designed to study the solar corona, taking images 1.3 solar diameters in multiple wavelengths. The Extreme ultraviolet Variability Experiment is designed to investigate the varying spectrum of the Sun’s radiant energy and its interaction with the environment.
The goal of the SDO is to combine the data from these three instruments to improve our understanding of the solar physics that drives activity in the Sun’s atmosphere, which in turn drives space weather in the heliosphere and on the surface of planets.