NASA evidence of a twin Sun in our solar system? – In relation to the mysterious images with a second sun captured by one of NASA´s BEHIND stereo spacecraft´s onboard cameras”, namely the Behind HI-1” camera, that shows a Twin Sun or another Sun-like object materializing on a few images on Januar 5th & 6th 2010, I wrote to responsible NASA Official Joseph B. Gurman (Facility Scientist, Solar Data Analysis Center NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) April 10th 2010 and asked him for an answer about this mysterious extra sun in the images.
Below the email I send to Joseph B. Gunman:
I have been on the SSC website and are confused because of some pictures taken by the Behind HI-1 observatory between january 5th and 6th 2010. There is specially two images that baffles me (see below) and I can´t find anything about it on nasa.gov news section nor in the Stereo Learning Center?
I may ask you this simple question: What is it? I can see some of the images leading up to these two images below shows sign of spacecraft roll, but this “object” with solar-like flares on top of it confuse me? I know you are busy and maybe you and your team are about to report on this issue, but I would love to hear a word or two from you on this particular object, or at least refer me to info about it if it exists.
Well, I look forward to hear from you and wish there is a simple explanation on this phenomena, thank you so much.
Below the email I got from Joseph B. Gunman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:
Hi, Mr. Jørgensen -
The STEREO coordinated observations calendar that includes that day,
says, “HGA calibration, Ahead 14:00 UT, Behind 16:00 UT
Behind: SECCHI corrupted images until 4 UT,”
where HGA refers to the high gain antenna, for January 6 of this year. The entry for the previous day, January 5, includes,
“SECCHI warm restart, 21:25, corrupted images.”
Thus I _suspect_ what you’re seeing are areas where onboard memory has been overwritten, and various corrections may have been applied to the wrong camera’s images. Thus, you appear to have combinations of an HI image, a COR1 mask, and an EUVI image (first image link), and an HI-1 and EUVI images (second link), respectively.
I’m copying this to Drs. Chris Davis (of the SECCHI HI team at Rutherford Appleton Lab) and Bill Thompson here at Goddard so they can correct or amplify on my barely-educated guess.
“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.”
- Douglas Adams, 1952 – 2001
Joseph B. Gurman, Solar Physics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD 20771 USA
Below the email I got from Dr C. J. Davis, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory:
Dear Mr Jørgensen,
Thanks for your interest in the STEREO images. I thought it would be useful to confirm that Joe’s explanation is correct. Such corrupted images do look very strange as they are effectively a double-exposure of different subjects.
Dr C. J. Davis
STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Chilton, OX11 0QX, UK
Below the email I got from William Thompson, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:
I added a page about this on our artifacts page at
under the heading “Corrupted and blank images”.
Subsequent discovery reveals the truth
After I wrote this article, I found that the real reason for these weird pictures, was exactly as Joe Gurman had explained – two cameras mixing their images in the memory. I made a search for images taken with other cameras onboard the spacecraft and stumpled upon BEHIND EUVI 304 and here I found two similar photos matching the two first images above. They had the same solar flares close at the same hour as the corrupted images above. The deal is, that you have to turn the images 90 degrees to the right to get a near perfect match, with only three minutes’ difference. The Sun you see in the pictures below, are the same Sun you see in the pictures above! So we can safely conclude, that we have no twin Sun in our solar system, not what we are aware of. And think about it, a second Sun so close to the stereo spacecraft that it can get a closeup photo, would have made havoc in the solar system and posed a serious threat to our survival here on earth. We would have known for sure…
What can we learn from this? Well, it´s not a good idea to freak out because you are looking at a strange (corrupted) image you haven´t seen before. Lots of things can happen to the images and at first glance some images can look strange, but as usual there´s an explanation to the most cases and this case was one of them. Thanks to Joe Gurman, Dr. C. J. Davis and Bill Thompson for their helpful replies.