The images taken on December 1, on NASA's Stereo spacecraft, show a big wave of plasma streaming over Mercury, and it seems that the plasma also streams over the image of another object next to the planet which flares up as soon as it is hit by the coronal plasma.
The image appeared next to Mercury as a massive blob on the sequence of images by NASA telescopes. UFO enthusiasts' forums on the Internet have been abuzz with excitement as speculation broke out that the image is a massive alien spaceship parked next to the planet. According to Daily Mail
, over 100,000 YouTube users have seen the sequence of images taken by NASA's Heliospheric Imager-1 telescope and many claim that it is an alien ship hiding away from us under the shadow of Mercury.
Daily Mail reports the image was uploaded on internet by sinXster, who comments:
"It's cylindrical on either side and has a shape in the middle. It definitely looks like a ship to me, and very obviously, it's cloaked."
SiniXster commented further that there is "absolutely no explanation for the nearly Mercury-size mystery object other than that it's a spaceship. What object in space cloaks itself and doesn't appear until it gets hit by energy from the sun?"
Experts have, however, said that the image next to Mercury is not an alien spaceship. According to Daily Mail
, the image has been analyzed by the United States Naval Research Laboratory. Experts explain that the "alien ship" really is the "ghost" of the image of Mercury taken the previous day. According to the experts, to ensure that the CME being tracked stands out clearly visible, astronomers compare new images taken with previous ones and eliminate or subtract images that appear twice as "interfering background light."
Far and stationary objects such as stars are easy to identify and eliminate, but moving objects such as near planets are difficult to identify for subtraction.
Nathan Rich, an astronomer, explained to Space.com
"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 artifacts in the background where the planet was on the previous day, which then show up as bright areas in the enhanced image."
also reports that Rich explained the image is simply an artifact left over from the way raw HI-1 telescope data gets processed. Rather than a UFO mothership parked near Mercury, the bright spot is "where the planet was on the previous day."
Another astronome, Dr Heather Couper, confirmed Rich's statement to Daily Mail
. Couper explained that the bright object is not a "cloaked alien ship." According to Couper, there is no way an alien spaceship the size of our moon could hide from us next to Mercury without astronomers having detected its presence:
"The scientists have not managed to subtract the image of Mercury. The technical guys are saying the problem is that when you try to subtract something that’s moving the pixels blend into each.It’s imaging processing that they haven’t got their heads around. No way could it be an alien spaceship the size of Mercury because Mercury is the size of our moon and we would know about it."
But some UFO theorists, according to MSNBC
, have faulted the expert explanations, saying that the image looks more like a cloaked UFO mothership because it is not round like the previous day's image of a planet should be. Rather, high-resolution image shows that it is composed of two lines running parallel. But Rich explains that, "the pixels which form the two parallel lines are where the circle from the planet and the bleeding pixels (cross-like features) overlap as it progresses across the field."
MSNBC interprets Rich's technical explanation:
"In other words, because Mercury moves over the course of each day, and because saturated pixels bleed light into adjacent pixels, an averaged image of Mercury from the previous day looks like two streaks, rather than an orb."