By now, most of you have probably heard of that mysterious light on Mars that was photographed by NASA’s Curiosity rover, but in case you haven’t check out these articles shared with us by Mr. V.T., Ms. P.H., Mr. G.B. and many other regular readers here(and a big thank you to them!):
And from our good friends at Phys.org, this gem:
My initial reaction, when I saw this photo, was “This is real, it’s not an artifact, And it’s anomalous.” I tried to explain it, or rather, explain it away, and to my surprise, subsequent articles, the first and third which I linked above for example, rehearsed some of the very same explanations I ran through inside my own mind. There are three “explanations” according to the first article:
“According to NASA, a bright spot appears in single images taken by the stereo camera’s “right eye” camera, but the spot doesn’t show up in images taken less than a second later by the left-eye camera.
I”n the two right-eye images, the spot is in different locations of the image frame, and, in both cases, at the ground surface level in front of a crater rim on the horizon, Justin Maki, a NASA imaging scientist said April 8 by email through a spokesman.
“‘One possibility is that the light is the glint from a rock surface reflecting the sun,’ Maki said in the statement. ‘When these images were taken each day, the sun was in the same direction as the bright spot, west-northwest from the rover, and relatively low in the sky.’
“Another possibility is that the bright spots are sunlight reaching the camera’s image sensor through a vent hole in the camera housing, which has happened before with Curiosity and other Mars rovers, the agency said.”
Now compare this with our good friends at Phys.org’s statement here:
“Thanks to everyone who has emailed, Tweeted and texted me about the “artificial bright light” seen on Mars. And I’m so sorry to disappoint all the folks who were hoping for aliens, but what you see above is just an image artifact due to a cosmic ray hitting the right-side navigation camera on the Curiosity rover.“If you do a little research, you can see that the light is not in the left-Navcam image that was taken at the exact same moment (see that image below). Imaging experts agree this is a cosmic ray hit, and the fact that it’s in one ‘eye’ but not the other means it’s an imaging artifact and not something in the terrain on Mars shooting out a beam of light.”