But pointing to the fact that the structure appears to extend beyond the edge of the Sun, some UFOlogists suggested that the image shows a form of "alien megastructure," consisting of billions of solar panels, sweeping over the solar atmosphere as it harvested energy from the Sun.
One UFO researcher speculated that the massive anomaly could be "streaks left by cosmic rays."
UFO Sightings Daily's Scott Waring was the first UFO researcher to suggest that the photo shows a giant hatch that opened up on the surface of the Sun to allow alien spaceships to exit or enter the Sun's hollow interior. The UFO hunter claimed that the NASA image may have settled the debate over the Hollow Artificial Sun Theory, which posits that our Sun is an artificial structure, a giant alien base, or space station that generates energy from a non-thermonuclear energy source.
In comments posted on his blog UFO Sightings Daily on March 16, 2016, Waring writes, "A giant door opened up on the sun this week, just a little bit, enough to make a crack across the sun, and through the crack shined pure white light of the world inside."
"It opened just enough to allow motherships to exit or enter," he added.
According to the UFO researcher, the SOHO image proves the Hollow Artificial Sun Theory.
"For many UFO researchers it is believed that the sun itself is an artificial structure, with a flaming camouflage on the outside and a massive world 1000X our own on the inside," he writes, and concludes, "This photo, as rare as it is, confirms that theory."
The Hollow Artificial Sun Theory is a bizarre conspiracy theory that serves as the logical extension of other equally bizarre but popular conspiracy theories, such as the Hollow Earth Theory and the Spaceship Moon Theory -- also known as the Artificial Moon Theory or Alien Moon Theory.
The Hollow Artificial Sun Theory originated from the speculations of "fringe" theorists, such as Jeffrey Wolynski, who claimed that the Sun is much younger than the Earth and that it does not have a core, being a hollow structure like a giant inflated balloon. According to Hollow Sun theorists, because the Sun has an empty or hollow interior, it will eventually collapse on itself gravitationally.
Wolynski originated the theory of Stellar Metamorphosis. He speculated that contrary to scientific consensus, the Hollow Sun does not generate energy through thermonuclear fusion reaction but through a process linked to "galaxy growth."
But Wolynski did not suggest that the Sun is an artificial structure or a space station constructed by technologically advanced alien races. The idea that the Sun is a hollow artificial structure was popularized in conspiracy theory circles as an extension of the speculations of fringe theorists, such Eric Dollard and Stephen J. Goodfellow (see YouTube below), who in turn based their ideas on the so-called Plasma Cosmology theory -- first proposed by Nobel Prize winning physicist Hannes Alfven -- and its extension, the Electric Universe Theory. Both theories share in common the idea that the Sun runs on electrical rather than thermonuclear fusion and that the formation and evolution of stars is shaped by electricity and magnetism and not gravity as mainstream science claims.