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A massive hole has just opened up in the Sun

A massive hole has just opened up in the Sun

This definitely doesn't sound like good news.

The news cycle can be pretty depressing, so we hate to be the bearer of more bad news.

Unfortunately, it looks like a 'huge hole' has opened in the Sun's atmosphere.

That's according to SpaceWeather.com, which also says it's now "spewing a stream of solar wind directly toward Earth".

A massive hole has opened up on the sun's surface.
Stocktrek Images / Getty

Sounds decidedly not great, if you ask us.

According to SpaceWeather.com, a hole has been photographed by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and measures almost 800,00km long.

It's a coronal hole - but what does that actually mean?

Well, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coronal holes are cooler, less dense regions on the sun's surface and have an open, unipolar magnetic field.

The NOAA said: "This open, magnetic field line structure allows the solar wind to escape more readily into space, resulting in streams of relatively fast solar wind and is often referred to as a high speed stream in the context of analysis of structures in interplanetary space."

Essentially, the Sun is held in place by magnetic fields - when they suddenly open up, the contents of the Sun's surface starts streaming out.

The solar wind surging out from this particular hole has been pointing directly at the Earth since December 4.

Even though the hole is massive, it can't be seen by the naked eye (nor would we recommend looking up at the Sun, full stop).

That's because coronal holes can only be viewed under ultraviolet light.

The last time a massive hole triggered a geomagnetic storm was back in March, causing radio blackouts and beautiful auroral displays.

Solar storms can cause auroras in the sky.
Fredrik Meling / 500px / Getty

However, this one doesn't seem to have made quite so big an impact.

Only a weak storm has reportedly been caused so far - although SpaceWeather.com indicates it still could result in auroras, so it's worth keeping your eyes peeled at night.

It certainly seems like the sun has been getting frisky recently - in November a massive sunspot region appeared on the side closest to the Earth.

Made up of at least different sunspot groups, Space.com said, this collection was rather cutely dubbed a 'sunspot archipelago'.

What is less cute though is the 'barrage of solar storms' Space.com said it has started to direct towards Earth.

Featured Image Credit: Credit: hadzi3 / Getty /Getty Stock Photo