When we take a look at pictures and videos presented to us here on ATS of UFOs, I have noticed a lot of observations by members that seem to show a
lack of understanding of things like perspective views, photography and telescope optical systems.
The idea behind this thread is not to "debunk" anything, but instead to try and help ATS members be better observers in this field. Knowledge is
power, and being informed on how things work can help enable a person's observational skills.
With the power of the internet in today's world, we have a multitude of people who can now cruise the internet and come upon all sorts of images and
videos that people have posted and claimed that they are UFOs.
This has allowed any memeber here on ATS to watch a video on YouTube, or find a picture posted somewhere, and in turn bring it here to ATS for others
to see. This can be a very powerful thing as it allows a large number of people to examine something.
However, part of the problem is that many times we have pictures and videos of things that memebers look at, but they lack the knowledge or education
of the device that was used to take that picture or video.
Good examples of this are pictures or videos taken by satellites such as
, and ATS
members will make posts that state such things as:
"That thing is HUGE!"
"That thing is right next to the sun!"
The problem with statements like these, is that in most cases, there is no way to really tell the size of the object or it's distance from the
Let us take a look at what we call "Perspective View":
Using one of my computer SDKs (Software Development Kits), I've created a globe of the Earth. I've also created a very large object and set it next
to the Earth as you can see in the picture below:
Let us imagine that we are a satellite that has imaged this.
Now let us take a look at the large white sphere from a different angle and much closer, with a reference object. The referece object is a large rock.
I've sunk it into our large sphere:
As you can see, the white sphere is with out a doubt, a large object by the Earth.
Now take a look at this picture:
It looks the same as our first one: a large object next to the Earth.
But there is a problem here. We are assuming that this is a large object right next to the Earth. We did that with my first picture too actually.
But here is what this object in this picture really is:
It's a very small object, very close to the camera. There is my reference rock, and I've even put the actual large white sphere where it was
So when looking at these pictures and videos, before you state that it's something large and next to the sun (or another body), keep in mind that you
do not know this for a fact without a change in perspective or some sort of reference.
Is there no way to tell from these pictures or videos?
Actually, there is a way to at least make what we call an "educated guess" of how far or close something might be.
It's called "Focus"
This is where understanding the device that took the image or video comes into play.
Many of the satellites in orbit have different types of imaging systems on them. Understanding how they work is very important if you want to
understand what you might be looking at.
Some of these systems use telephoto types of lens. Some use reflective optics. The reasons for this is due to what type of focal length the camera
The correct type of telephoto lens can zoom in on objects that are far away. The amount of zoom we get will depend on the optic's focal length. Here
is a picture that shows the more we zoom in, the larger the focal length:
Telephoto lenses start to get large and heavy the larger you go. If you want even higher zoom capabilities, you'll start running into the problem of
lens size. Making huge lenses for much higher focal length is a problem in that the glass when forming much larger lenses can have defects, gravity
sag, and are extrememly expensive to make.
However, we know that by using a curved mirror, we can achieve much higher focal lengths than a telephoto lense by using much cheaper and easier to
make thin mirrors.
A reflecting optical system does just that: gives us much higher focal lengths (in the thousands of millimeters) that is lighter, smaller and much
Here is a picture of the EIT imaging system on the SOHO satellite:
As you can see, it uses a system of mirrors to give the imaging camera a very large focal length.
Now let's explain about focus.
Take a look at the picture below:
As you can see in the left hand side of the picture, we are focused on the building, however there are flowers that are very close to the lens of the
camera. They are out of focus and appear quite fuzzy.
On the right hand side of the picture the camera is focused on those flowers, and now the building in turn is out of focus and fuzzy.
This should be a clue for you when looking at any UFO pictures or videos, especially ones showing an object that is suppose to be near the sun.
If the object is truely near the sun, which is what the imaging satellite is looking and is focused on, then the object should be in focus just as
much as the sun is.
If instead the object in the picture or video is very out of focus and fuzzy, that should be a good indicator that it's much closer to the imaging
camera, and not right next to the sun which is in focus.
Another good indicator that the object you are seeing is very close to the imaging system and not right next to the sun, is if the imaging system uses
a reflective system like the EIT on SOHO that I showed above.
When small objects that are very out of focus with these systems, they will be so out of focus (remember, these imaging systems have focal lengths
that are in the thousands of millimeters) that they'll appear as a round, fuzzy blob. Even if it were a small cube, it would look round.
Another artifact you can get due to being a small object that is way too close to the reflective imaging system will be a round blurred blob with what
looks like a hole in the middle of it.
Here is why. The reflecting system has a set up like this: a large primary mirror, with a secondary mirror centered above it:
The secondary mirror will block light in the center of the primary mirror:
An object that is small and very close to this type of imaging system can give you round fuzzy blobs that look like they have a hole in the middle of
"Are you saying that every UFO that we look at in these pictures or videos must be this?"
No. What I'm saying is that having knowledge of how these imaging systems work, and how perspective views work can help you decide better if what you
are looking at is really a UFO or something more mundane and ordinary.
Technically one could still call a object that is very small and close to the imaging system (instead of a huge, planet sized object right next to the
sun) a UFO. It's way out of focus, can not be seen well, and we have no idea what it is (ice crystal? space junk?). There for it is a UFO.