April 20th, 2014
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Tag Archives: NASA

THAT MYSTERIOUS LIGHT ON MARS: IT JUST GETS BETTER AND BETTER

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!):

NASA offers 3 explanations for strange bright light seen in photo from Mars

NASA Curiosity rover captures mysterious bright light on Mars

And from our good friends at Phys.org, this gem:

‘Bright light’ on Mars is just an image artifact

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.”
This is a bit disconcerting, to say the least, for it is almost as if our good friends at Phys.org are saying that our good friends at Never A Straight Answer cannot tell the difference between glinty rocks and cosmic rays. And you’ll have noticed a bit of obfuscation between the two articles: Never A Straight Answer is saying that the left hand image, which Phys.Org is citing as “confirmation” of its cosmic ray hypothesis, was taken at a different time than the right hand image with the light, which Phys.Org is saying was taken at the same time. So which is it guys? (and, having failed to get your story straight the first time, would anyone believe any additional statements or explanations at this juncture?)
Then there’s the “glinty rock” explanation, which I find dubious at best. For one thing, the light extends above the background line of the distant hill, which would mean a rock extending in the same fashion with its reflective surface. But no such rock appears in the second photo without the light, at least, not as far as my squinting eyes can tell. Other than this, I have no problem with the glinty rock hypothesis, except that usually glinty rocks are found lying around with other glinty rocks, and at that distance, one would expect other glinty rocks to be reflecting sunlight, since they’d be at more or less the same angle. Of course, glinty rocks can and do exist all by themselves, and I suspect we’ve all seen them before. But in that case, we’re still thrown back on the first problem, that this particular glinty rock appears to extend above the line of the hill in the distance, and no such rock appears in the second photo.
Now, on a planet where we have our space probes photographing this (and yes, folks, I checked the NASA site and as the article states, found this object on the NASA photo, after a bit of searching):
can we really afford to dismiss the hypothesis that this might be another anomaly? Suddenly there, and just as suddenly not?(q.v. Nasa’s explanation that the two pictures were taken at slightly different times).  For the moment, folks, I’m not satisfied with the explanations we’ve been given, and the subtle obfuscation evident in the explanations between two respected sources, so I’m holding all possibilities open, until the explanations do not conflict, and make some sort of sense.
See you on the flip side.

US/NASA SUSPEND SPACE COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA

In last week’s News and Views from the Nefarium for April 3, 2014, I outlined recent Russian financial initiatives, including the coming establishment of domestic clearing in Russia free of the dollar, as a step towards a system of international clearing also free of it. For those who have been following this website, I’ve been arguing[More...]

NASA UNVEILS THE PLAN FOR FUTURE SPACE ACTIVITY

Ms. P.H. and others of you who are regular readers here, and who know of our continuing interest in covering the collateralization and commercialization of space, shared the following article with me, which is now almost three weeks old. At first, I must admit, I was not going to blog about this, because I think[More...]

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO “HMMMM…”: SPACE STATION TO GET LASER CANNON

File this one under “things that make you go ‘hmmm…’”: it seems that the International Space Station is to be the proud recipient of its very own special laser cannon: Space Station to Get a ‘Laser Cannon’ Now, the article makes a couple of things clear, namely, that this laser cannon is purely for environmental[More...]

KRISPY KREME’S INCREDIBLE MARTIAN ADVENTURE

No two weeks’ worth of blog scheduling, especially when we’ve been having fun exploring the bizarre developments in science and technology that we have the previous week, would be complete without talking about that strange rock on Mars that in one picture taken by NASA, wasn’t there, and then, later, suddenly was there. Indeed, so[More...]

NEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE NEFARIUM JAN 2, 2014

Space again! Joseph comments on the Burns Flat, OK spaceport, the Space Settlement Institute, and the announced budget cuts at NASA on the Cassini and Mars Curiosity probes, and what the real possible implications of those cuts might mean: Little spaceport on the prairie The Space Settlement Institute NASA Budget Cut May Shut Down Cassini[More...]

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO “HMMM…”: NASA UNVEILS VALKYRIE ROBOT IN TIME FOR DARPA CHALLENGE

NASA unveiled a robot named Valkyrie just in time to use it as an entry in the DAPRA challenge, and this one has so many implications and even messages we simply have to talk about it here(thanks again to MS P.H. for sharing this one): NASA’s Superhero Robot ‘Valkyrie’ Ready For DARPA Challenge Now, there’s[More...]

CHINA, THE MOON, AND GEORGE LUCAS

A few days ago I blogged about Russia’s space and defense chief, Dmitri Rogozin, wanting a Russian lunar base. Prior to that, you’ll recall, I blogged about a Japanese architectural firm’s plans to turn the Moon into a giant solar power base, beaming microwave energy back to Earth(see JAPAN WANTS MICROWAVE SELENOSOLAR POWER PLANTS ON THE[More...]

NEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE NEFARIUM DEC 19 2013

Joseph comments on space news in the mix before Christmas: SST Australia: Signed, Sealed and Ready for Delivery Lunar Mineral Rights secured by Dr. Joseph Resnick, et al. Mars Mineral Rights secured by Dr. Joseph Resnick, et al.

ASTEROID MINING AND SPACE MILITARIZATION

There’s another clue out there that the meme of asteroid mining is a clever way of disguising the fact that space was collateralized(on our hypothetical scenario of the hidden system of finance and hidden space programs) long ago, and that, in turn, space collateralization is driving the militarization of space, and it’s coming from an[More...]