Saturday, April 12, 2014

NASA Explains "Flash" on Mars Surface

Image: Mars view
A bright spot shows up in Curiosity's right-hand navigation camera image from April 2.
(Image Source: NASA)

By Alan Boyle

A leader of NASA's Mars Curiosity rover team has offered a couple of explanations for an anomalous bright spot that showed up on pictures from the Red Planet — but they're not the conventional explanations.

Let's get this straight first: It's not an alien spotlight, according to Justin Maki, an imaging scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who is the lead for Curiosity's engineering cameras. Maki isn't giving any weight to the not-completely-serious claims that are being bandied about by UFO websites.

At the same time, Maki isn't immediately dismissing the phenomenon as a double-shot of cosmic rays or data dropouts. In his view, that spot of light could have entered Curiosity's right-hand navigation camera, even though there's no sign of the spot in the stereo imagery from the left-hand camera.

Maki and his colleagues think it could be a well-placed flash of reflected sunlight, or light shining through a chink in Curiosity's camera housing.

More w / Official NASA Explanation - Link >>>

Source: NBC News.

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