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
12/9/2011 1:42:22 AM
I think that this images were processed to enhance the effects of the phenomenon, in this cases the coronal mass ejects from the sun, if you note the colours of the backgrounds are false colours and this show reel display the pictures taken over an interval of several hours, in the threshold of 20 minutes for about a day. The background and the target in this case planet mercury must have been a composite of several of those images taken, and the suspected UFO is an after-image of the sun-flare interacting with the magnetic field of the planet. In simply words those are artifact of the analysis made by the computer.
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
Nexus Prime to Debut Next Week with Highest Resolution Smartphone Display
October 5, 2011, 1:23 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
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
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
F-16 Schools Trillion-Dollar F-35 in Mock Combat, Fleeing is Best Option Pilot Admits
July 1, 2015, 5:53 PM
Apple Music: The Money, The Launch Hiccups, and the Nitty Gritty Details
June 30, 2015, 5:09 PM
Apple iOS 8.4 Rolls Out w/ Fix to Crash-Causing Unicode Text
June 30, 2015, 3:24 PM
Windows XP, Vista Users Can Get Free Windows 10 Upgrade Thanks to Loophole
June 23, 2015, 2:23 PM
Quick Note: Lumia 940 XL "Cityman" Phablet Gets Teased Via Tests
June 29, 2015, 5:51 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 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information