This was not totally consistent before, but I think it's taken a step backwards in 1.7b5.

ferdinand on 1/29/2017 11:03 PM:

Never noticed this before, but it is indeed very obvious now. Hit a fast moving ship and the effect stays on the place on screen where the ship was hit while the ship speeds on and leaves the explosion behind.

megas on 1/29/2017 11:33 PM:

They stuck in 1.7b4 and before, but they do not now in 1.7b5.

george moromisato on 2/10/2017 6:55 PM:

Fixed in 1.7 Beta 6. Thank you; definitely a regression.

nms on 2/18/2017 8:12 AM:

I think they're fixed in x-y coordinates now. They should be fixed in polar coordinates relative to the ship's facing.

nms on 5/26/2017 11:39 PM:

During yesterday's stream I checked some older versions, and it appears they've never moved with the ship as it rotates. It's just gotten more noticeable because the new effects are bigger and last longer, tending to leave them floating in space or deep inside the ship.

Presumably, hit effects are either excess energy radiating into space, or are added by your ship's UI to show what ships are being hit. Either way, it makes sense for them to be attached to the part of the ship that was hit.