Mysterious "UFO" Footage Near Mercury Debunked
December 8, 2011 1:29 PM
comment(s) - last by
YouTube user siniXster believes the NASA camera footage is a UFO, but scientists say its just a ghost of where Mercury was positioned the previous day
A video making its way around the Web has many wondering an age-old question: Are we alone in the universe?
The Heliospheric Imager-1 (HI-1), a camera system aboard NASA's STEREO spacecraft, managed to capture some questionable footage last week of what some are calling a
The footage caught a coronal mass ejection last week, where electronically charged material catapulted from the sun and hit Mercury. The solar flare that struck Mercury seemed to have hit another large object about the same size nearby, which was described as cylindrical on both sides with a shape in the center, resembling a spaceship.
YouTube user siniXster posted the footage on the Internet saying that the object in question was clearly a cloaked spaceship that may be indicative of
"What object cloaks itself and doesn't appear until it gets hit by energy from the sun?" said siniXster, who also mentioned that there could be no other explanation for the Mercury-sized object.
However, scientists at the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) disagree. According to NRL's Russ Howard, head scientist, and Nathan Rich, lead ground systems engineer,
the mystery UFO
is actually Mercury itself. It is simply a ghost of where Mercury was positioned the previous day, and was visible due to the way raw HI-1 telescope data is processed.
Howard and Rich explained that NRL scientists typically remove background light when processing such data in order to make the glow of a coronal mass ejection apparent against the bright glare from space. They identify what light is background light by calculating the average amount of light that entered individual camera pixels the day of the event as well as the day before. Light found in the pixels on both days is background light, and is then eliminated from the footage while the rest of the light is enhanced. This process is relatively easy for bodies like stars, but for those that are closer and move, such as planets, the process is a bit more challenging.
"When [this averaging process] is done between the previous day and the current day and there is a feature like a planet, this introduces dark (negative) artifacts in the background where the planet was on the previous day, when then show up as bright areas in the enhanced image," said Rich.
When this footage is reprocessed from a different day, the bright spot disappears due to different pixel values and removed light.
It looks like believers will have to wait another day for E.T. to phone home, but take a look for yourself and see what you think:
Life's Little Mysteries
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
12/8/2011 2:07:07 PM
The same reason when someone hears a noise in their house it must be a ghost instead of the wind, or the house settling, or a mouse walking around.
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
Invisible Cloaking Device Created Using Mirage Effect
October 5, 2011, 9:41 PM
NASA Researcher Claims to Have Found Alien Lifeform
March 7, 2011, 9:18 AM
NASA: UFO Flying Over Arizona Was Actually a Weather Balloon
May 20, 2009, 7:38 AM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Most Popular Articles
Smart Security Cameras: 5 Good Choices For Any Budget
July 25, 2016, 7:13 PM
2017 Porsche Panamera: I’ll Take Three of These.
July 24, 2016, 6:44 PM
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
5 Excellent Cable Modems: Buy Your Own and Avoid Rental Fees
July 28, 2016, 8:44 PM
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information