Ray of joy: Nasa captures image of the sun ‘smiling’

This week, a Nasa satellite photographed what looked to be a joyful face pattern on the sun, leading the US space agency to declare that the sun was "smiling."

On Wednesday, the organisation tweeted the photograph with the caption: "Today, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the sun'smiling.

These shadowy areas on the sun, known as coronal holes when viewed in ultraviolet light, are places where swift solar wind blasts out into space.

Since its publication, Nasa's photo has received a flood of internet comments, with many people comparing it to a carved Halloween pumpkin, a lion, and the sun from the kids' television programme Teletubbies.

The magnetic field of the planet is bent by various eruptions of mass and energy from the solar surface known as solar storms.

The polar lights, also known as auroras, become more visible as a result of these storms in both the northern and southern hemispheres.