Amazing solar 'wink' tells doomsday prediction was fallacy?
London: NASA engineers were amazed after clicking a latest picture of the Sun which appeared to be "winking at them".
The image, which actually reveals sunspots caused by intense magnetic activity, was taken on December 22, just a few minutes after the Mayan doomsday prophecy proved to be wrong.
Eruptions of magnetic activity on the solar surface appear to make the Sun 'wink' at the time many believed the world would end passed, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
The picture, which was taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), has echoes of the famous image from the 1902 French film 'A Trip To The Moon', which is regarded as the first science fiction movie.
"Despite reports of an ancient Maya prophecy, a mysterious planet on a collision course with Earth, or a reverse in Earth's rotation, we're still here," NASA spokesperson said.
"The Mayan connection was a misconception from the very beginning," said Dr John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy.
"The Maya calendar did not end on December 21, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date," he said.
The mesmerising pictures show the energy thrown off by the Sun in wavelengths invisible to the human eye such as X-rays and ultraviolet light.
The pictures have allowed scientists with new understanding of how the Sun works.