NASA Explains UFO Images On Mars
One of the most controversial topics among scientists, astronomers and average people is the existence of extraterrestrial beings and unidentified flying objects (UFOs). It‚Äôs hard to imagine that we are the only life form in the Universe, but beings from other planets traveling thousands or even millions of light years through space to actually visit us may be another story.
Recently, the Mars Curiosity rover captured images of what appeared to be a UFO descending to the Mars surface, allegedly taken on June 20 according to NASA‚Äôs Jet propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The first image shows a bright light appearing above the mountains. Another image taken 31 seconds later showed the light closer to the surface of Mars.
Justin Maki, leader of the team that built and operates Curiosity‚Äôs cameras, thinks the light is just a hot pixel. ‚ÄúThis is a hot pixel that has been around since we started using the Right Navcam,‚ÄĚ Maki told The Huffington Post.
A hot pixel occurs when a camera‚Äôs sensor becomes hot during long exposures, or when the ISO reaches above 400-800, according to Photography Life. They can show up on brand new cameras even though manufacturers try their best to alleviate the possibility of them.
On April 3, the rover captured an image of a bright light shining on the surface of Mars. These types of anomalies on the images taken by Curiosity are very common, NASA points out. ‚ÄúIn the thousands of images we’ve received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week,‚ÄĚ Maki said in a NASA statement. ‚ÄúThese can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations.‚ÄĚ
These photos have sparked conversations around the Internet. UFO believers as well as UFO critics both have their opinions on what the light could be. However, NASA has explained it is a hot pixel glitch that caused the controversial dot on the image. One YouTuber claims this is definite proof that UFOs are arriving on Mars.
The dot on the first image could be explained by a hot pixel, but then there‚Äôs the next image where the dot is closer to the surface. NASA explains that the second dot is merely a ‚Äúcoincidence caused by a cosmic ray or another anomaly.‚ÄĚ
Curiosity has been on Mars since August 2012 on a mission to see if Mars once supported life. The mission completed one Martian year on June 24. One year on Mars is equivalent to 687 Earth days and now Curiosity is on its way to Mount Sharp.
Another image claimed to be of extraterrestrial subject matter was on July 25, 1976 when NASA‚Äôs Viking 1 orbiter captured an image of what appeared to be a human face on the surface of Mars. However, it was passed off as a phenomenon known as pareidolia, when the human brain picks out faces in an object. This particular instance turned out to be just shifting sand that formed the anomaly. In 2006, another image was captured of the same area by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and showed the shifting sand had erased the face and the captured image was just a sand dune.
Whether or not you believe there are real extraterrestrials visiting us from far away or alien spacecraft flying around our Universe, you have to admit there may be a slight possibility that there are.
Image Credit: NASA JPL / Caltech