A NASA spacecraft just spotted a giant hole creeping over the surface of the sun.

via GIPHY

It sounds like the recipe for a doomsday blockbuster — the sun slowly gets consumed by blackness, throwing our planet into a cold, dark frenzy. But actually, this hole is no cause for alarm.

It’s called a coronal hole, an astronomical phenomenon that pops up on the sun’s corona (atmosphere) from time to time.

According to NASA, these holes mark low-density spots where the sun’s magnetic field opens freely into interplanetary space, allowing hot material from the corona to speed outward. Because of this, the areas have much less hot plasma than their hotter, brighter surroundings, causing them to appear dark and, well, “hole-y.”

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