'Object' Photographed
Breaking Up Near Sun?
From Matt Ridgway <>
NASA's solar observation satellite SOHO experienced a 'Bake Out' early this week, leaving us sungazers with little to do but wait for new images to be posted. My patience was rewarded today with the release of new images, and dare I say a few revelations?


As you can plainly see in the first pic, what appears to be a large object is easily visible in the lower right-hand corner of the image. This is nothing new. On any given day one can closely examine SOHO solar images and see a virtual swarm of indistinguishable objects reflecting various degrees of light. What's important about this object is that upon closer examination (see pic 2) we can see that the object appears extremely reminiscent of Shoemaker-Levy 9's fatal plunge into Jupiter's atmosphere. The object seems to be breaking apart in the exact same manner, the leading edge consisting of several large, bright fragments spreading apart, with lesser fragments trailing behind.
What's also very interesting about this event is the approximate size of the object. A cursory guess would have the object at near earth-sized proportions! What effect would objects of this mass have on CME's is for someone more learned than I to contemplate.
It is strange that NASA hasn't mentioned a word about something so extraordinary. Why would that be?

Matt Ridgway
From: David Coulston <>
Subject: 'Object' photographed breaking up near Sun on
There may be an alternate explanation for the 'object' displayed in the 'photo.
In space, unlike down here on the Earth, the radiation from the Sun tends to blast through most objects at full strength (we, thankfully, are shielded from it by the atmosphere).
What may be recorded is a highly ionized particle striking the sensor within the camera. Often, when there is a lot of solar activity, images are marked with these transient artefacts.
If you wish to see this in action, have a look at "This Image which is an animated GIF of a big 'X-Class' coronal mass ejection that happened back on the 7th of June.
(By the way, the full-halo coronal mass ejection shown in the animation is also rare and exceptionally powerful. We have had a few big CME's like this in the last month because the Sun is at the peak of its activity in the solar cycle.)
If the object in the photo also appeared in other images, taken by different instruments or at different times, then it would be something large breaking up as it fell into the Sun!
From Matt:
Since submitting my initial post regarding the June 21 solar object, I have since located yet another photo of it, this time taken at 1300 hours, a mere 19 minutes before the initial shot! What's very interesting here, besides putting to rest anyone's notion that this is a fluke, or a scam, is the distance this object covered in the space of time between the two frames. My unqualified, uneducated guess is that what we see here are the final, trailing fragments of an object that either passed very close to the sun during SOHO's 'Bake Out' (from the 17th through the 19th) or broke up and collided with it. Whatever the story, the object obviously exists, it is immense and was travelling at unheard of speeds. Anyone care to do a more learned analysis and help me out?

Matt Ridgway
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