Sorry, beacon of light in Mars photo caused by 'shiny rock' not aliens, says Nasa
Just a rock guys, just a rock
Wednesday 09 April 2014
Nasa has rained logic and common sense on speculation that the bright light that features in a photo from the surface of Mars taken by its Curiosity rover is some kind of luminous alien, suggesting it is "likely a glinting rock or cosmic-ray hit".
The image has been widely shared since the rover tweeted it yesterday, with people trading various optimistic theories as to what could be causing the light on Mars' horizon.
And who could blame them, when explanations like it is the light from an alien hut are far more entertaining than the reality: it's probably just some light shining off a rock.
"In the thousands of images we've received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week," said Justin Maki of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the leader of the team that built and operates the rover's Navigation Camera.
"These can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations."
Nasa did admit that this particular bright spot is a little unusual however.
"The bright spots appear in images from the right-eye camera of the stereo Navcam, but not in images taken within one second of those by the left-eye camera," it stated. "Normally we can quickly identify the likely source of a bright spot in an image based on whether or not it occurs in both images of a stereo pair. In this case, it's not as straightforward because of a blocked view from the second camera on the first day."
Not the Independence Day moment many were looking for then, but if you are in need of a "Duuuuuuude" space story, here's what Earth looks like from Mars.
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...