Two weeks ago, photos from a NASA spacecraft were released on the administration’s website, with a couple of the images appearing to show a huge blue sphere passing in front of the sun.
How this was handled depended on which group one was in. The UFO enthusiasts, Nibiru believers, and New Age conspiracy theorists made impetuous declarations of vindication, which they accused NASA of trying to cover up. Astronomers and skeptics, meanwhile, considered what we know about how these photos are taken and processed, then solicited input from experts.
Scott Brando at Doubtful News learned that the blue sphere was nothing more captivating that a computer glitch. It turned out that not everything that makes it onto the images are related to the sun. Some quirks are caused by telescope optics, camera characteristics, or spacecraft operation.
NASA further explained: “On rare occasions, the image processor onboard becomes overloaded and produces corrupted images. Generally, these take the form of images from one telescope processed as if they were from another telescope. Because the images from the Heliospheric Imager (HI) telescopes are built up from a large number of exposures added together, this sometimes results in double exposures, where data from several telescopes appear in the same image.” Put most simply, two images from two different cameras can be combined into one.
As this explanation makes clear, these images did not “mystify scientists” as the ironically-titled Sun newspaper claimed. The publication might have known that if it had bothered reaching out to NASA scientists, mystified or otherwise. That’s what astronomer and Slate columnist Phil Plait did, interviewing those involved with the spacecraft and the images it sends back.
As to why the sun appears blue, which is obviously not its true color, there is a simple answer. Because our eyes are unable to see in the ultraviolet, each wavelength is displayed using a different color to help viewers distinguish them. That means the images in question are of an object that has been artificially colored and are not really of a massive, floating azure sphere.
Plait also noted, “Planets are bright and overload the detectors a bit, bleeding light into neighboring pixels. This happens all the time in digital detectors, including spacecraft that observe the sun. UFO hunters and Planet X conspiracy theorists tend to go bananas over such things.”
Leading this Elongated Yellow Fruit charge is Pamela Johnson, a formerly unknown Facebook user whose post on the blue image went viral. Her lone accuracy was noting that “this huge object was captured on NASA’S SECCHI STEREO HI1 satellite on November 17, 2016. Our sun is casting the light that is coming in from the left side of the frame. “
From there, she made a sharp veer into lala land: “I have added a photo that clearly shows NASA has tried and failed to use images of the sun to hide the sphere. NASA tried to cover it up by overlaying images of the sun on top of it.”
As to what specifically NASA was trying to hide, Johnson suggested it might be the latest Gaia Portal, not explaining what that is, why she would know that, or why NASA would want that kept secret. She did let us know, however, that “Astro-glances compel the masses to action. Whatever it is, it wanted to be seen and the Galactics wanted me to see it and make it go viral.” While she did not contact NASA, she did query one source, noting, “I consulted my divining rods.”
As to the more measured response Plait received from NASA, Johnson considers this proof of the cover-up. That leaves unexplained why the administration would try to keep something hidden by means of a taxpayer-funded source that operates under a mandate that images be made available immediately.
Indeed, one YouTube commenter stated that NASA would never carelessly allow this image to reach the public. He asserts it was done on purpose, by means of a hologram, to mess with our minds for unspecified reasons.
According to the imaginative sky gazers at UFO Sightings Hotspot, the object was either “a giant extraterrestrial or interdimensional spacecraft or an unknown celestial body like Nibiru.” If it was the latter, this object precisely as large as the sun managed to keep its gravitational pull in check when it passed by Earth.
While Nirbiru believers, UFO enthusiasts, and New Agers rejected NASA’s explanation, they could get excited about it if they would let themselves. As Plait put it, we have these images because “a space probe launched on a huge rocket that took it around Earth’s orbit to the other side where it uses a complex and sophisticated suite of powerful scientific instruments to track our sun in wavelengths invisible to the human eye so that we can better understand what it’s like to live in the outer atmosphere of a star.”
That makes it fascinating enough and negates any reason to concoct a tale about spacefaring aliens from a secret planet accessing a Gaia Portal.