NASA STEREO Footage of Venus ExplosionThis video caused a ruckus in amateur skywatcher circles in the summer of 2010. It appeared to be evidence of space debris glancing off the surface of Venus, causing an electromagnetic arc blast reminiscent of sunspot activity. However, when questioned directly about this, here was NASA's response:
"What you are viewing is (1) reflection of the bright Venus image off internal camera surfaces and (2) instrumental flaring from diffraction of the image of Venus off the edges of the multiple baffles on the front of the instrument.
The baffles are the multiple ridges at the bottom of the box, and just below the lower of the two circular optical packages near the top.
These reflections and diffraction flaring should occur from time to time as Venus nears the anti-Sunward edge of the field of view."
I don't buy it. This looks like a normally-propagating electromagnetic arc wave. No other objects seem to be affected by the "flare effects" described, which would be affecting all bright objects in the frame.
Meanwhile, the following questions remain to be asked: 1) Did a large, fast-moving asteroid glance the Venusian atmosphere and escape its gravity field or 2) was that a massive magnetic eruption on Venus?
(Kind thanks to Bruce Fenton for this information).