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7 memorable UFO-inspired images from NASA and beyond

UFO, space

Photo: NASA

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First shots of spacecraft Mercury -- or not

On Dec. 1, 2011, alien enthusiasts went into warp drive when images appeared of a supposed spacecraft hovering near the surface of Mercury. NASA’s Heliosphereic Imager-1 telescope on the SECCHI mission caught a giant coronal mass ejection (CME) streaming forth from the sun. And, as UFO watchers claimed, there was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it image of a previously cloaked spacecraft. But NASA was quick to dash the hopes of anyone dreaming of a steamy (as in temperature) meeting with a Mercurian cousin. Calling it a negative image, NASA quickly put the fears of an alien invasion to rest.