A haunting face reminiscent of a carved jack-o'-lantern emerges from the active regions of the sun's corona in this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory or SDO.
The SDO was launched into orbit in February 2010 and has been staring down our star ever since. This particular photo was taken in October 2014.
According to NASA, "the active regions appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy — markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona."
To understand and track how particles and heat move through the corona, scientists observe the sun in different wavelengths using a measurement known as angstroms. The image above is a blend of shots taken at two different wavelengths — 171 and 193 angstroms.
You can earn more about why and how solar scientists use these varying wavelengths in NASA's Sun Primer.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information since it was published in October 2014.