The anomalous "Sun Cruiser:"

1. On May 3, 1998, an anomalous object appeared into the LASCO C3 coronograph:


From LASCO C2 June 9, 10, 11, 1998

GALLERY: C2 1998/06/09 09:27 C2 1998/06/09-21:06 C2 1998/06/10-21:10 C2 1998/06/11-10:01

Dear Viewers, the above object has been deemed the planet, Mercury; what do you think?

comments from astronomers


"That object bothers me as being Saturn, because unless you purposely oriented the frame so that the rings were horizontal, Saturn's rings are not horizontal to the ecliptic, as far as I know. Secondly, the enlarged and enhanced image implies several separate nuclei, each separated by thinner streams of debris. These brighter objects outside the main object are too bright in my opinion to be rings. And the central object appears to be composed of several smaller objects either still joined or which have not separated a great distance from each other. In other words, what we may be looking at is something like Shumaker-Levi-9 after it was pulled apart by gravitational forces. And yet there does not seem to be a tail. But then again, Shumaker-Levi-9 did not have a tail either once the nucleus was pulled apart." Bruce Cornet, PhD.

Sorry, I don't know what the funny-looking object is. It is probably an object in the instrument, perhaps a calibration marker. It is not something in the sky. If it were, the IAU astronomers would have mentioned it and sent out notice to astronomers all over the world to get more observations. The funny object is at least an order of magnitude too large to be Saturn, provided everything in the photo is part of the same image and to the same scale. Dr. Tom Van Flandern

Regarding the strange object seen near the Sun in the SOHO photo, I believe this object is the planet Mars. The new comet is above and to the right of the Sun, outside the edge of your image. Check out the following hyperlink:  Dean Dupree

2. On May 18-30, 1988, the anomalous object (or a second object) traveled from behind the sun across toward the east on the LASCO C3

May 18, 1998

May 30, 1998

3. On June 4, 1988, theanomalous object reappeared into the LASCO C3 coronograph:

3. Continuing on LASCO images June 7- June 17; on June 17, 1988, the anomalous object disappeared to the western field of view on the LASCO C3 coronograph:

June 17, 1998

4. Liz Edwards of I WONDER PRODUCTIONS has furnished many enhancements of the "Sun Cruiser."



Note:  In viewing the mpegs you must get a Netscape plugin that allows for LASCO compression:

Recommended for LASCO mpegs


Kent Steadman