On Tuesday, April 24th, an alleged UFO sighting created a bit of a frenzy on YouTube. The NASA image, which was taken on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory or SOHO, seems to have captured some strange spaceship orbiting close to the sun.
A blogger for the website Gather describes the strange object by writing that it “looks like a metallic, jointed spaceship with a gigantic extension, perhaps a boom arm, anchored off its lower end.” There have been several other posts like these since the image hit YouTube, where one user has zoomed in on the photo in an attempt to get a better look at the alleged UFO. After changing the colors of the photo, the user, along with several other viewers of the video, seem to be convinced that this is certainly some type of spaceship “dropping by the sun to harvest some energy.”
Scientists in the solar physics branch at the United States Naval Research Laboratory, or NRL, seem to have a different take on the “UFO sighting.” Nathan Rich, the lead ground systems engineer in the NRL’s solar physics branch, informed Life’s Little Mysteries that “the streaks in question are consistent with energetic particle impacts on the CCD, something which is apparent in just about every image.” The CCD is the camera’s sensor which has been known to leave these cosmic ray streaks on photos that are taken above Earth’s magnetosphere. According to Alfred McEwen, director of the Planetary Imaging Research Laboratory at the University of Arizona, “…with space images that are taken outside our magnetosphere, such as those taken by orbiting telescopes, it’s very common to see these cosmic ray hits.”
In addition to the streaks being a quite common phenomenon that might prove the object to just be yet another camera glitch, the UFO does not persist from image to image,” says Rich. If it were truly an object, the images would have shown the space ship panning left or right, not just suddenly vanishing into space. This provides more evidence that the “metallic, jointed spaceship” is really just a glitch in the camera.