Published May 09, 2012
Either we aren't alone, or it's nigh time NASA fixed its dodgy cameras.
For the third time this year, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has returned an image of a giant UFO hovering near, or feeding off the Sun. Maybe.
SOHO was launched in 1995 as a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency, with a sole aim to study the Sun. The mission was supposed to last just two years, but it is still plugging away and has approved support from ESA to continue to do so until at least December.
In recent years, SOHO has found an extended role as a predictor of solar weather activity, helping scientists on Earth prepare for radiation bursts sent our way by solar flares.
On the SOHO homepage, fans can access all sorts of Sun-related data, including images that have been built from observations from any of the dozen or so instruments onboard SOHO, and videos.
The same sort of content can be found at NASA's solo project, the Solar Dynamic Observatory. Most popular are videos that feature comet fly-bys or collisions. Others specialize in time-lapse rotations of the Sun showing flare activity.
It's these that keep turning up on skywatcher websites and conspiracy theorist blogs in equal measures.
In December, one was the source of hysteria surrounding the appearance of a cloaked alien spaceship near Mercury. In March, it was a Death Star refueling on the sun.
And now one YouTuber, rob19791, claims to have found the ultimate proof of alien life feeding off our Sun -- a NASA cover-up.
He posted a video on May 5, of footage taken two days earlier by SOHO. In his eyes, the video clearly shows a massive rectangular object hovering near the Sun's surface.
An object that looks strikingly similar to another massive, rectangular object hovering near the Sun discovered last month.
"Cosmic rays" was the official line from the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) -- streaks of charged particles whizzing through space that get picked up by cameras.
The same killjoy explanation was given for the discovery of "Bio Station Alpha" on Mars last year.
So what's so different about the UFO spotted by rob19791?
A day after the footage was shot, live streaming images from SOHO were disabled - a suspicious coincidence, he says.
The official word from NASA?
"SOHO went into 'Emergency Sun Reacquisition' mode on Friday May 4, 2012, caused by a false trigger of the Coarse Sun Pointing Attitude Anomaly Detector. We are working on the recovery of the spacecraft to normal mode."
Rob19791's version of events?
"NASA are clearly trying to stop us looking at the sun. The reasons could be anything from the crafts/ships seen recently or an impending solar flare that will wipe out humanity."
He claims NASA have now scrubbed the "UFO" from the footage and are most likely now working to change the way users view the SOHO site.
Either that, or they are sick to death of having to explain their camera glitches...