A perplexing sphere spotted on images recently taken by NASA’s pair of satellites watching the Sun had some conspiracy theorists in a frenzy, suggesting it was a UFO. The real answer is a lot more straight forward, however.
The images dated November 17, 2016 can be found on NASA’s Stereo Science Center website with “Ahead HI1” Telescope view selected.
The series of frames, which lack annotation explaining the phenomenon, sparked a number of online theories, including a video posted by the UFOMania channel on YouTube.
The video, which has been viewed over 90,000 times, garnered many excited comments, but some were skeptical.
“Nasa would never be so careless to allow something like this to reach the public. And it looks like something is projecting this image in space, holographic perhaps or project blue beam,” said YouTube user Mike Sovereign.
Another user ‘oiTzBiGJo’ pointed out that it could be “a project blue beam” rather than a UFO.
Several commenters said the “sphere” could actually be nothing more than a lense flare on the telescope’s optics.
The images were also reposted by Facebook user Pamela Johnson, who stated that she thought the frames showed a craft from a group called the “Blue Spheres,” adding that there is “nothing to fear.”
While such sightings allow for imaginative theories, the reality is a lot less exciting.
NASA explains that “on rare occasions” the image processor can become “overloaded” resulting in “corrupted images.”
Such images are created from “a large number of exposures” being added together, the space agency explains. In this instance, the image is actually just the sun, although overly exposed, and not “project blue beam.”