A NASA video showing a mysterious black spherical object hovering near the sun has set off a firestorm of web speculation this week, prompting guesses as to how it was formed and where it came from. Of course, the resemblance to the Deathstar is only coincidental, but many people are wondering if perhaps it isn't something from another planet/universe rather than something that is easily explained.
The object in question appears to be black in color and is perfectly round, with a long "twister tail" which connects it to the sun. According to TheWest.com, NASA claims that there is a very reasonable explanation for the anomaly: it appears to be a filiment, which is a "large, bright feature extending outward from the Sun's surface. [Filaments] are anchored to the Sun's surface in the photosphere, and extend outwards into the Sun's hot outer atmosphere, called the corona."
One thing that remains a mystery even to NASA scientists, however, is why the sphere is cooler than the sun's energy, which is why it appears so dark in relation to the sun. Also, it is strange for a filiment to retain such a distinct shape. Normally, they are formed by a violent burst of energy rather than a controlled form such as a sphere.
Occasionally word will spread of strange things found by NASA and speculation as to what they might be varies wildly, but there is always an explanation behind it. However, the fact that NASA is being vague about what this could be is more than enough to keep people guessing...and hoping.
NASA, who recently changed their successful Tweetup program to NASA Social, has almost 2 million followers on Twitter. That's a lot of speculation.