Some have likened the object to Star Trek's Deep Space Nine. Image Credit: NASA
Eyebrows were raised recently when a strange wheel-like object showed up in solar observatory imagery.
The images were captured by NASA's STEREO mission (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) which originally consisted of two spacecraft which launched back in 2006.
Although only one of these is still operational, the mission continues to capture some spectacular shots, including one recent set of images which featured a rather unusual looking anomaly.
Resembling a wheel with four spokes, the strange object was captured by the HI2 telescope on STEREO Ahead (its twin was called STEREO Behind) back in February.
While some eagle-eyed social media users were quick to imply that the anomalous circular object was a UFO, NASA has since explained on its website that it is actually a reflection of the planet Venus.
"At the same time as this strange-looking feature starts being visible, the very bright planet Venus enters the HI2-A field-of-view from the left," it wrote.
"Notice that Venus and the feature stay in step almost exactly opposite each other across the middle of the detector. This is not a coincidence."
"The strange looking geometrical 'object' is actually an internal reflection of the planet Venus within the telescope optics. This effect has been seen many times before."
A video showing the progression of the anomaly can be viewed - here
Source: CNET.com | Comments (15)