I’m Not Saying It’s Aliens, But It’s Definitely Not Aliens | Vol. 4 / No. 4.1

Oh boy. The internet is awash with people seeing what they want to see again. This week it’s a double exposure in the data from NASA’s STEREO sun observation mission being mistaken for aliens. Because the internet, I guess.

It started on Thursday, when someone on Facebook noticed that there was a blue sphere in the “Ahead HI1” stream for November 17. There were a string of images, but, basically, they normally look like this:


But on that day looked like this:


To which said Facebook user had this to say:


And to which any sensible person would say this:

“Hey guys, it’s just the sun!”


As NASA explains, “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.” In this case, the “Ahead HI1” images, which look off to the side of the sun (the sun’s to the left of the first image), also have a flipped image of the sun itself from the “Ahead EUVI 171” camera overlaid.

It is in no way, shape, or form aliens. Unless it’s aliens altering data from the camera to see how many people on the internet they can laugh at at once. But really, they wouldn’t need to, because we come up with this crap on our own.

Happy Monday, everyone.


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Richard Ford Burley is a human, writer, and doctoral candidate at Boston College, as well as an editor at Ledger, the first academic journal devoted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In his spare time he writes about science, skepticism, feminism, and futurism here at This Week In Tomorrow.