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NASA Refutes Rumors that Source of Mars' Flash of Light is Alien Life




Since Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012, there have been several rumors that evidence has been found of Martian life in the forms of fossils, statues and even a carved alien skull and that NASA has "covered up" the existence of alien life on the planet.

Adding the list this week, NASA has denied claims that a flash of light in a photo taken by Curiosity, is proof that the rover has found alien life as rumored on many UFO websites. The photos, taken by Curiosity on the 2nd and 3rd of April, show the rough Martian landscape and a single bright glint of light that looks like it might come from some sort of artificial source. The "alien life" speculation empasized that there appears there is a square part at the base of the light, which seems inconsistent with any kind of natural explanation. The spot of light also appears to be in different positions in each photo, possibly indicating a moving light source.

But NASA imaging scientist Justin Maki, who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory ss head of the team looking after Curiosity’s engineering cameras, has denied the alien life rumors pointing out that the light appears only in the photo taken with the camera on the probe’s right-hand side suggesting that it's sunlight reflecting off a particular rock, or light that has found its way through the camera’s housing due to damage of some sort.

Mars rover mission's suggests that the light is due to cosmic rays bouncing off the camera’s detector or is simply a very “glinty” rock that has been caught by the rover. This theory is supported by the fact that both photos are taken at a low angle looking up the ridge with the sun behind the rover.

The flash of light is off Curiosity's prescribed route, about 175 yards away, over the ridge, so the rover will not be investigating its source. A fact certain to inspire further rumors of NASA cover up among the "Alien Life" proponents.

The Daily Galaxy via NASA and The Guardian


Must be the Protheans

The flash of light was said to be a cosmic ray distorting a pixel in the frame. Considering the budget cuts NASA has been dealing with it wouldn't surprise me if they are the source of all the Mars/ET rumors.

If they live underground in a vast network of tunnels connecting their world, they would test a rocket blast where? Above ground. And Nasa won't investigate. Now, if that was a private company, they would be right on top of it. But Nasa...who cares? We get paid either way. 175 YARDS could be PROOF of extra terrestrial LIFE and they won't go there. I will be so happy when Nasa dies like the dinosaurs and allow private industry to take over. A bunch of do nothing, lazy, friggen idiots.

@Dr Burke:

Thanks for your interesting comment Dr. Burke.

Well.. actually I think I might disagree with you on a few key points:

I don't perceive NASA scientists to be "do nothing lazy friggen idiots" as you do.

That's essentially because landing complex computer driven rovers on an alien planet is a lot harder than most of us would suspect.

Just take a look at all the failed European space agency, Russian, and Chinese rover landing missions, and you will see why it is so difficult.)

Next: like you: I do hope that the private sector will take over space exploration (companies like Space-X).

You bet I do!

But don't forget that private companies like Space-X are utilizing extensive technology developed by NASA over a few decades.

Those private space companies are NOT re-inventing the wheel: they are borrowing heavily from NASA's experience and technology/designs, and NASA is sharing this information with them willingly.

Also, far from seeming "lazy" the NASA rover scientists often seem to be extremely/highly motivated, frequently doing all nighters during critical mission times, and speaking to the press in highly motivated and excited tones.

Furthermore: re-diverting and reprogramming the driving path of a rover on an alien planet, every time some anonymous dude on the Internet (possibly sitting in his Mom's basement, wearing nothing but underwear) happens to perceive a face, or bigfoot monster, or glint/reflection of sun light on the lens... has to spend time investing, is just not realistic.

Also I don't think many of us would be happy to see NASA "die", as you have wished upon them.

So much incredible and vital science (such as Voyager probes, lunar landings, Hubble deepspace imaging, depends upon NASA.

I won't even go over all the countless private sector spinoffs that have come to be, thanks to NASA.

Finally... is NASA perfect? Nope!

But still... I believe they will continue to play an important role in the future of our species.

See the link below for my blog post on why Maki's explanation is not convincing.

Cosmic rays (or a vent hole) are too implausible an explanation, because you basically need about 1 in a million coincidence to explain two flashes on the horizon (perpendicular to the horizon) on two consecutive days. A rock reflection is also not a good explanation, because rocks are dull, non-reflective objects, and it is particularly unlikely that you would have such a powerful light reflection on Mars (where the sun looks smaller in the sky). That doesn't mean that we have to invoke aliens, but simply that we don't yet have a good explanation (could be some odd geological thing).

"dr. burke", evidence from both your comment, here, as well as your Facebook page prompt me to urge you to seek professional help, in your quest for the "truth". That is, if you believe your tinfoil hat gives you sufficient protection to venture outside. Otherwise, perhaps you can find someone who is willing to come to your home, and personally measure you for a lovely new canvas jacket. I hear the style, these days, is to make them with extra long sleeves which include buckles and straps.
Be careful not to get any drool stains on it, though. Dry cleaning can get expensive.

It is always good to be analytic and watchful especially of government affiliated entities (well NASA is a gov funded organization, not exactly a gov entity but close)but if intelligent life is to exist on Mars it's gonna have to breathe in very rare partial vacuum atmosphere, and breathe CO2 and sustain extremes in temperatures colder than Antartica, wading in frozen CO2/water slush and living in a drier than dry desert. I'm not taking sides with NASA but I think a bit of thought on the part of the hyper critics might reduce the uneducated hype that circulates on the Internet about all the space soap opras invented by shear stupidity and ignorance.

I would say that E.T.s would be more probable than life other than microbial, on Mars and the likelihood of E.T.s isn't much either and this is coming from someone who's seen his share of so called UFOs. Yes, there most certainly has to be life and advance intelligent life in our Galaxy and a lot of it, granted, so it would not be surprising in the least of it was found visiting our own Solar system and Earth, but skulls on Mars and such can be tossed off as tabloid hype if you look at Mars' history as a failed too cold, too dry, too small not enough magnetic field radioactive as Hades planet. It's good to study Mars in detail but I think it is way too expensive and risky to ever have a manned mission when a small fraction of the money spent could yield so much more info using robotics and no risk to human life.

Charley, you make some excellent points, here, and I agree with you, but, I think we Earth people will almost certainly have to personally visit Mars. Maybe for no other reason than because we can. You know, the old "Where no man has gone before" attitude. So many people have already expressed a willingness to take a one way trip, if that were possible, that I am positive that the lure outweighs the risk. I mean, the desire to explore is responsible for where we are, today. Although it could be argued that the Europeans leaving Europe was not necessarily the best thing that happened to the life forms they encountered. If/when we ever do find intelligent life, elsewhere, would we (or they) be civilized enough to treat each other respectfully?

As the media fever builds on life on other planets and what is now possible with holographic projection imagine the reaction if another trick was played on us like the 1930's radio prank War Of The Worlds.

I don't know what the light/reflection is but rocks are not always "dull, non-reflective objects". Many rocks are highly reflective.

If you've sent a probe all those millions of miles, and it spots a light that could just be a sign of alien life, surely it's worth going 175 yards out of your way to look? And not sticking your head under the blankets and hoping it goes away?

Personally (for what its worth) my first impression was, and still is some geologic event such as steam? Maybe a large Co2 discharge? Either way and even if I'm wrong (quite possible) seems worth redirecting the rover to go take a look. Something happened! That's for sure. Isn't this type of event what were sort of there for in the first place? I find it hard to believe that mission programmers won't consider taking a peek. I thought that we (humankind) were exploring?

Seems to me it would settle allot of claims and issues...but what do I know I'm just a taxpayer.

@Chris: Perhaps a well aimed, *intelligent* cosmic ray, with an
agenda? ;-)

@Black SciFi: Are (any possible) Martians limited to rockets
just because we are? (Humankind is remarkably imaginative, it
seems, until it comes to truly useful alternatives to rockets;
then, not only are there "no realistic alternatives" to rockets, but even the very notion of spending time, money or
effort to try to develop such things meets with remarkable
resistance, somewhat akin to the picture of Karl Benz or
Henry Ford being stoned to death for their efforts by the
"get a horse" crowd.)

Moreover, considering the evident size of the flash (given
the indicated distance), and the apparent diminutive size of
the various "Mars humanoids(?)" supposedly seen elsewhere,
wouldn't that thing have to be their equivalent of our old
SuperNova booster project from back in the sixties? Ambitious
little guys, aren't they! :D

So where's the project infrastructure? Also underground? Just
asking.... ;-)

@Velocity.Wave: Since Obama sold our manned space assets to
Germany, NASA's continued existence would seem irrelevant to
the discussion at hand, at least where a future manned mission
to Mars is concerned.

I mean, where's Burt Rutan or Richard Branson when you really
need them? ;-)

@M.Mahin: Ahhh...some refreshing.... ;-)

@Charley,@rodzilla: Good points, well expressed.

@Lee: A scary thought -- is it real, or is it Memorex? (Oh
I know...I just gave away my age....) :-P

@Kris: Yeah! Like those paving stones awhile back...(OOPS) :-O

@D.Greatrex: My sentiments exactly.... ("To boldly go where
no one in charge wants to go" -- or as a certain Security
Minister [on Star Trek, I'll admit] once said, "...taking
us all much too quickly where we have no business going in
the first place"....)

@Captkilt: Too bad we can't get a refund.... ;-) :D

It suddenly dawns on me....

If the flash is some kind of "venting" taking place, whether
steam or whatever, why does it not disburse in the "vacuum-like"
ultra-thin Martian atmosphere, like a rocket plume in space? It
appears to be meeting an atmosphereic pressure rather higher
than the much-touted "0.01 Tor" claimed for Mars...more like,
perhaps, the "0.67 Tor" originally reported by the first Viking
lander, but later declared to be a "sensor error."

One wonders...any takers on this one? Enlighten us, maybe?

And speaking of "enlightenment" -- wasn't that picture taken
some time around local sundown? So much for "reflections?" I
mean, it certainly is dark...and the plume (or "flash") does
indeed appear luminous....

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