I want you to watch this video with the sound off, ignore the title on top, watch it a bunch of times, and figure out what you think is going on. Hold that thought. Then play it again, stop brain-filtering the title (if you can manage this trick, tell me how!), then compare notes.
So a ship the size of Mercury is supposedly less than one Mercury-width away from it, following along behind it, while a coronal mass ejection blasts the planet and accidentally exposes the cloaked ship. This is obviously the most parsimonious explanation, since these instruments are obviously perfectly analogous to a human’s eyes, right?
Which also explains the huge shafts of light emerging from the top and bottom of Mercury! Those must be aliens too! Sending message beacons to their home planets! It’s the only explanation that makes any sense!!1
Only, this image is actually a composite, taken from two probes on opposite sides of Mercury, and the images both produce are edited together to form a sort of “interference map” of that area of space. That weird image is a shadow caused by perfectly comprehensible anomalies in the interference when the two specific angles taken are overlayed. Nathan Rich of the US Naval Research Laboratory says these are “artifacts in the background where the planet was on the previous day”:
The pixels which form the two parallel lines are where the circle from the planet and the bleeding pixels (cross-like features) overlap as it progresses across the field.
Sure, that’s not as glamorous as us having discovered a cloaked ship that’s about 4879.4 km across — you know, the same size as Mercury. But it makes a hell of a lot more sense, just understanding it’s an oddity of the camera process rather than what would be one of the most transcendentally important events in human history when said ship-that’s-about-18%-Earth’s-mass paid a visit.
I know. I’m such a party pooper.
Kylie posted it first, but the hat tip on this one belongs to reader, occasional antagonist and guy I know in real life James Carey.