UFO researchers greeted the New Year Friday with a new discovery of a NASA image of the sun taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory satellite, an orbiting satellite that "studies the Sun 24 hours a day, 365 days a year without interruptions," NASA says. The image appears to show a winged spacecraft that bears an uncanny resemblance to a starship seen in the upcoming video game Mass Effect: Andromeda.
The alleged discovery of a UFO near the sun — the star at the center of solar system in which Earth is the third innermost planet — is far from the first time online UFO enthusiasts have spotted what they say is a massive interstellar alien ship either orbiting the sun, or even in some cases, landing on its surface. The latter, of course, seems in incredible prospect given that temperatures on the surface of the sun register at about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
To explore a few more examples of UFOs supposedly spotted on or near the sun see the links in the "Related Stories" section, below on this page.
Even among the well-known online researchers who came up with this latest UFO sighting from the SOHO satellite, there seems to be some confusion as to the exact location of the "Mass Effect" UFO in its proximity to the sun. Scott C. Waring, editor of the popular online site UFO Sightings Daily, describes the object as "near" the sun.
But the equally well-known researcher Streetcap1, who made the find as part of his online project archiving UFO images from NASA photographs on YouTube, says that the object is "close" to the SOHO satellite, which orbits just one million miles above Earth — a full 92 million miles away from the sun.
View Streetcap1's video of his latest discovery in the video below.
Here is the original NASA image from the SOHO satellite cameras that caught the attention of UFO hunters.
Here is an enhancement of the UFO image itself, from Waring's blog.
"Pretty hard to dismiss this one people. Here we have an object that looks entirely built by some super duper race that seems to be way ahead of us poor humans," Streetcap1 wrote of the images. "The camera is one million miles away out in space monitoring our sun. This object appears close to the SOHO Satellite and is quite a complicated design."
By comparison, as pointed out by Waring, here is a fictional starship that appears in the Mass Effect: Andromeda video game.
But is this a case of alien life imitating art or the other way around? Or is it something else entirely? According to NASA, the last option in the correct answer.
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While NASA rarely if ever comments on individual UFO discoveries in its images, the space agency's scientists clearly have taken note of the proliferating number of UFO sightings that turn up in SOHO image data, and they have posted several possible explanations on the NASA SOHO site.
NASA refers to these images as "hot shots," irregularities in the video images caused by the extreme brightness of the sun itself.
"If you point a video camera at a very bright source (say, the Sun), the image 'blooms" or brightens all over," NASA experts write. "There are so many electrons produced in the pixels corresponding to the bright source that they spill over into adjacent rows and column."
"In the past we've been accused of 'covering up' UFO evidence when we present our explanations, and of 'refusing to comment' (or 'clamming up') when we give up on somebody who won't accept our explanations," the scientists continued, on a page devoted to demonstrating why supposed UFO images are common in NASA photos.
"Most commonly, UFO claims are due to perfectly natural flaws or artifacts in our publicly available data," NASA says.
While NASA explanations are unlikely to prove persuasive to UFO researchers dedicated to extracting what they say is evidence of alien spacecraft near or even on the sun, the space agency leaves no doubt that the frequent claims of UFO discoveries at least have its attention.
[Image via NASA/SOHO]