A few days ago, the Huffington Post ran an article on the Rosetta space probe mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (Chury for short) entitled, “UFO Sighted On Surface Of Rosetta Comet.” In the article, the HuffPo went on to point out a visual anomaly on the comet.
There appears to be an unusual bright spot on the comet that seems to be too big to be explained away by “noise” or transient dust close to the camera. The article notes that conspiracy theorists have taken to claiming the object is a metallic disk or UFO.
Here’s an unaltered image of the comet taken from the ESA’s Rosetta mission website:
Here’s the “metallic disk” up close:
This “metallic disk” is not made of metal, it’s most likely the focus of a plasma discharge, which is something I predicted would make an appearance months ago:
3. Image sensors will detect areas of whiteout if the comet is active. This whiteout will be caused by plasma discharges. Should the landing be successful, it’s possible that the lander may directly image plasma electrically machining the rocky surface of the comet. We may observe glowing discharges in areas of shadow.
When the same image, taken directly from the ESA web site, is contrast enhanced, we get this:
I’ve placed a red dot on top of the “metallic disk” to show its original location.
You can achieve the same contrast enhanced image by downloading the photo editing software GIMP, and then setting the Image->Mode to RBG and setting the Colors->Brightness-Contrast to 119 Brightness and 125 Contrast.
The “metallic disk” is clearly the focus of a faint glowing plasma halo. The focus can take many shapes, and it may disappear, reappear and show up in different locations. This is the first of many such “anomalies” that we will see coming from this comet. We will see more bright spots. We will see more “jets” that seem to have no origin point. The ESA is in for many more surprises.
Eventually the fact that these bright spots are all tied to diffuse “jets” will become undeniable. The bright spots will appear mostly along ridges and high points in areas facing the Sun, but if the comet is active enough, we may see them appear in areas of shadow as well. Hopefully we’ll get an image of a nice big fat blazing discharge in an area that is clearly in the shadows.
In another popular press article, the Daily Mail questions why “jets” seem to be appearing on the comet in the first place.
Why Rosetta’s comet is only spewing material at specific points in jets, rather than across the whole surface, remains a mystery.
‘That is one of the as yet unanswered questions about comets that Rosetta’s scientific data will hopefully address,’ added Ms Lakdawalla.
‘The ice we see coming out of it is being released from the interior, through fissures or craters. But how this process works isn’t understood, yet.
Indeed, it will never be understood by these scientists because they aren’t “jets” of water, they are ionized hydroxyl radicals created by an electrical discharge into silicates. There is no ice on comet Chury. There are no jets of sublimating water on comet Chury. There is no ice hidden beneath the surface of comet Chury. The processes taking place on the comet are entirely electrically driven.
To learn more about the electrical nature of comets, watch this: