Out There

Out There stories relating to "SOHO"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Yet another unusual object has appeared in imagery from NASA's SOHO system. This is an enormous 'angel' that seems to be hanging in space near the sun. However, that isn't what it is at all. Here is our expert's opinion:

SOME BACKGROUND EXPLANATION:

"Video dropouts" from satellites went out with the analog age, at least 20-30 years ago. All transmissions are now digital, which means any missing data is automatically re-sent before the final picture is reconstructed on the receiving end.  The fact that you never see typographical errors in email (other than what the writer overlooked) is based on the same strategy.

What we're seeing in these images originated in the imaging sensor. How do we know this?

- First of all, because digital images are formed out of a matrix of pixels (dots) arranged in a grid -- like a windowscreen. So anything that aligns itself exactly with that grid is astronomically unlikely to be actually shaped that way.

- Secondly, because SOHO uses the type of sensor in which excessively bright pixels can bleed into adjacent ones, creating a line where there should be only a dot. You used to see this on television a lot, where a news camera was pointed at a streetlight at night and you saw a vertical streak extending above and below the light. (In these SOHO images, the streaking goes left-right.)

THE BOTTOM LINE:

My guess is that what created these "angels" are micrometeorites in the earth's atmosphere, moving roughly from top to bottom in these images. As the objects start to burn at full brightness they saturate and overload the sensor, creating the wider lines we see as "wings." Then as the brightness diminishes, the lines narrow, and finally at the bottom we see the "tails" in something like their actual reddish color.  Another possibility could be cosmic-ray hits on the sensor, but for various reasons I think that's less likely.

For a very different opinion go to Share Magazine press release (PDF)

Who does your Out There editor believe? I think our expert has nailed it.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

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Fifteen thousand people have watched this video so far, and at least some of them must believe it. But for the truth about these SOHO anomalies, watch this. (Of course, we'll be accused of being part of the conspiracy, but we like to point out both interesting mysteries and obvious fakes here on Out There.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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The first image on this video is not a stereo artifact, but what it is cannot be determined for certain. Some of the subsequent images are not artifacts, either, but, once again, SOHO is a complex system operating in an extreme environment, and they could easily have a technical explanation. Or not...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

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Unusual objects are often seen in the imagery from NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory satellites. But these are not actually present in space. They are artifacts of the stereo imaging process.

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