I want to give out props for tonight's post to the people who brought this story to my attention. Mike Smith at Prairie Independent Media and my old college buddy, Ski...thanks for the heads up!
Two, that's right two, separate NASA satellites caught a weird image near the Sun. Video of a coronal mass ejection (CME), bursts of radiation and magnetism that are hurled outward along with plasma ejecta from explosions on the surface of the Sun, seems to reveal something hidden. As the CME makes its way towards Mercury, it appears to unveil an enormous, angular object or perhaps two joined objects. You can click the link to check out the video but most observers are describing the scene as being similar to when a Klingon warship de-cloaks on Star Trek whether willingly or by...coincidentally enough...exposure to stellar radiation. Bingo bango you got yourself a UFO.
As I'm sure you're already thinking, there is another explanation for this. It all has to do with camera optics and video artifacts. What we're seeing on the video as a "de-cloaked" spacecraft is really leftover images of where the planet Mercury had been on the previous day. Here's how Space.com puts it:
"To make the relatively faint glow of a coronal mass ejection stand out against the bright glare of space — caused by interplanetary dust and the stellar/galactic background — the NRL scientists must remove as much background light as possible. They explained that they determine what light is background light, and thus can be subtracted out, by calculating the average amount of light that entered each camera pixel on the day of the CME event and on the previous day. Light appearing in the pixels on both days is considered to be background light and is removed from the footage of the CME. The remaining light is then enhanced.
This works great for objects far off in the distance, such as stars, which don't move much relative to the sun. But it gets a little trickier when trying to account for nearer objects, particularly moving ones, like planets.
"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, which then show up as bright areas in the enhanced image," [Nathan] Rich [of the US Naval Research Laboratory] wrote in an email."
This make for a likely and tidy explanation. The sole reservation that I have with that rationale is the sharp and angular nature of the image, making it look very artificial. That, however, is nowhere near enough suspicion to permit me to start crying "UFO," especially since it would have to be a UFO almost the size of Mercury. While I don't discount the possibility of such craft existing, something about it just seems unlikely to me.
Which is too bad. This would have made for a great story. After all, what better place to acquire a bona fide image of a UFO than out in space? Oh well, there's still hope. Linda Moulton Howe at Earthfiles recently grilled Dr. Lance Benner at NASA's JPL as to just why images taken of asteroid YU55 on its close approach to Earth have not been made available to the public yet. Dr. Benner said that there's a procedure involved, there's terabytes of data to go through, yadda yadda pretty much what you might expect. Linda Moulton Howe also quoted Benner from a NASA press release where he says, "“The radar animation reveals a number of puzzling structures on the surface that we don't yet understand. To date, we've seen less than one-half of the surface, so we expect more surprises.” Two of the surprises have been a bulging equator and a nearly 100-foot-high “sharp, pointy hill” unlike any structure ever seen before on asteroids."
This of course has lead to Internet speculation that YU55 is really just an enormous UFO. Are there artificial structures on the surface of the asteroid? Time will tell on that one.
For other UFO goodness, please check out the new book by last night's Coast-to-Coast AM guest, writer Mack Maloney. He has a new book called UFOs in Wartime that appears to be chock full of glorious illustrations just like this gem:
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