back to article UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

The internet has been all aflutter after a picture taken by NASA's Curiosity rover appeared to show a beam of light emanating from the Red Planet's horizon. Mars light snapped by Curiosity Martian garden lights "This is not a glare from the sun, nor is it an artifact of the photo process," claimed the image's discoverer, …

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  1. TRT Silver badge

    Is there...

    a large framed guy with incredibly bulgy eyes clawing at his collar and writhing in agony at the base of the said mountainous lump?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Is there...

      Nice reference to Total Recall :)

      In other news .. :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there...

        Oh? I thought he meant homer simpson !

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there...

        It's flat at the bottom and the rest is diffuse. Could be a gas flare of some kind.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Is there...

          It's flat at the bottom and the rest is diffuse. Could be a gas flare of some kind.

          Is it a green mist?

          1. jai
            Alien

            incandescent gas

            As Mars approached opposition, Lavelle of Java set the wires of the astronomical exchange palpitating with the amazing intelligence of a huge outbreak of incandescent gas upon the planet. It had occurred towards midnight of the twelfth; and the spectroscope, to which he had at once resorted, indicated a mass of flaming gas, chiefly hydrogen, moving with an enormous velocity towards this earth. This jet of fire had become invisible about a quarter past twelve. He compared it to a colossal puff of flame suddenly and violently squirted out of the planet, "as flaming gases rushed out of a gun."

            A singularly appropriate phrase it proved. Yet the next day there was nothing of this in the papers except a little note in the Daily Telegraph, and the world went in ignorance of one of the gravest dangers that ever threatened the human race.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is there... (Interpolation/scaling used in the enlarged image)

          "It's flat at the bottom and the rest is diffuse."

          That was the very first thing that struck me. The second thing was that there's no pixelisation in the enlarged image - whoops!

          If you look at the source image from JPL (jpeg - bah!) the brightened region is just 3 pixels wide by 6 pixels high, so the diffuse appearance in the enlarged image is due to interpolation being employed when the enlarged image was blown up - doh!

          What _is_interesting is that only the lower 4 pixels of the central column have been burned out, with the upper two pixels of the central pixel column and both of the two side columns being much less bright, so that you can actually make out the background through them.

          I'd say that this isn't a good match for a cosmic ray striking the detector because although the halo pixels could be the result of internal reflection within the layers of the detector they don't spread below the bright column as they do above it; the bright region, even in the raw image, cuts off uniformly across the bottom.

          So I had a look at the other image that's referred to and this does have different characteristics; instead of a line of burnt-out pixels there's a 2x2 block, which in itself is not significant because it could indeed be due to the incidence at which the cosmic ray hit the detector, but more importantly, there's a 1 pixel halo of brightened pixels on _all_ sides of the burnt-out region, which is a better match for a cosmic ray striking the detector.

          Going back to the first image, I don't think it's a reflection either, because the bottom pixel, for sure, and possibly the one above it as well, in the burnt-out 4 pixel column appear to be coming from a bit of the ground that's in shade - the camera is pointing almost directly towards the sun with the bright region appearing to originate just this side of a ridge, on a slope that's falling towards us.

          All things considered, and baring in mind there's aparently a one second time difference between the images from the left and right cameras, I'm more inclined to think that this might have been a small meteorite strike.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is there...

      There wasn't one picture, but two, both showing a ligjht of some sort. Not saying this is of alien origin, but nasa is not the experts they claim to be. If what they say is true, why not the thousands upon thousands of pics ever taken in space, or millions of pics taken on earth, showing the same thing? And why two pics in the same area around the same time showing a flash of light?. And are the pics taken at the exact same time? Is there a delay? I call bullshit.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Now with added JFK

        nasa is not the experts they claim to be

        Behold the Internet!

        1. Wzrd1

          Re: Now with added JFK

          True enough. Everyone is more of an expert than the experts who work with the equipment that they designed and sent through space to another planet to explore is.

          Even money, it's just a piece of schist.

          Excuse the lousy pun, but it could as well be a flash reflection off of a rock. Some people forget that some rocks are shiny.

          1. Anonymous Blowhard

            Re: Now with added JFK

            "Some people forget that some rocks are shiny."

            and that the secret is to bang the rocks together...

          2. Uffish

            Re: it's just a piece of schist

            Is there schist on Mars? There are certainly cosmic rays.

        2. cray74

          Re: Now with added JFK

          I think you've summarized the core logic of anti-vaxxers, too.

      2. Sander van der Wal

        Re: Is there...

        Bad pixels, hot pixels and cosmic ray hits do show up on almost every picture astronomers (both amateur and professional) take of the sky. First thing they do is to get rid of them by various means, like sigma clipping, bad pixel mapping and dark frame subtraction.

        And the best bit is, you can actually check this for yourself. 500 euro's for a digital camera and a tracking mount should do the trick. The processing software can be found on the net for free.

      3. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Is there...

        All right, Beatrice, there was no alien. The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.

  2. MrXavia
    Alien

    He may be mad... BUT at least he is looking, so if there is something NASA miss, these guys will find it... but seriously if the right eye saw it but not the left, it is clearly cosmic ray or similar...

    If alien life, in the form of anything other than microbes, is found, there is a very high chance it will be found by someone pouring over photos sent back rather than NASA/CSA/ESA, simply because organisations like this don't have the resources to do so...

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      Too bad

      we can't suggest to the CIA/NSA that there are terrorists on Mars. It might give them something to do besides spy on us earthlings. They've obviously got a surplus of manpower and high-end hardware at their disposal...

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Too bad

        But if NSA found something they would never tell us.

        They might leak it if they thought it might boost their budget, might even fake something to boost the budget.

        No, on second though it's a bad idea to ask NSA to do anything useful.

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: Too bad

          Terrorists, or at least the religiously motivated terrorists we fear today, can't be on Mars. Your suggestion that such might even be possible is not going to do you any favors next time you want to fly somewhere on vacation.

          Religiously motivated terrorists cannot be on Mars as that implies God has put life forms on a heavenly (ha!) body other than Earth. As it plainly states somewhere in the first half of the Bible/Koran/DSM IV, God created Earth and there created Man in his image and gave him dominion over all that dwells within (including women, note how the 'w' lacks capitalization? Yep, blame that glass ceiling on God sugartits, and bring me my bourbon). See, not a damn thing about terrorists on Mars. On that note, the starry firmament gets a passing mention, but how about a planety firmament? Nope. Nary a single word about another planet.

          With that established, we can now move onto the fact that God, or his (Holy)ghostwriter, made no mention of other planets, of other life upon said nonexistent planets, we know with 200% certainty the myth of terrorists on Mars absolutely cannot be true as a terrorist with no one to terrorize cannot be a terrorist. Schizophrenic, quite possibly, but a terrorist, absolutely not. Since God didn't say anything about any non-terrorists on Mars (or even Mars itself), we know therefore, there can also be no terrorists (or Mars).

          Your Curiosity (ha! x2) about the greater world is to be applauded. Your fear mongering and incitement to action is wholly uncalled for. Future lessons will not be so pleasant and, if you are wise, will also prove wholly unnecessary.

          1. Wzrd1

            Re: Too bad

            "As it plainly states somewhere in the first half of the Bible/Koran/DSM IV..."

            Ah, but in DSM XVVIVXXI, it plainly states that lifeforms are all over the bloody place and that the intelligent ones are blithering idiots.

            Got my copy from a Doctor, when I popped into the wrong Turdis that turned out to be a TARDIS.

            Next time, I'll check the sign more closely. Can't get those pepper pot guys ichor out of my sand shoes!

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Too bad

              DSM IV? Surely MM2 or The Manual Of The Planes?

          2. jinx3y

            Re: Too bad

            Nice...

        2. cray74

          Re: Too bad

          "But if NSA found something they would never tell us."

          We'd have to wait a few years for one of their under-paid interns to run to Russia and then tell us. :)

    2. Uffish
      Alien

      Re: "or similar..."

      How close are the two cameras and how murky is the atmosphere? Enough to rule out a laser?

      Ain't thinking, just saying.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: "or similar..."

        Laser wouldn't hit just a few pixels in one camera, mon.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: "or similar..."

          "Laser wouldn't hit just a few pixels in one camera, mon."

          Unless the sharks fin was positioned just right.

        2. hplasm Silver badge
          Alien

          Re: "or similar..."

          Sadly the other camera fell right in the dark centre of the other of the two luminous rings,which were briefly projected at the rover from a strange rocky projection on the far hilltop.

          Together with the luminous circles was a very deep audio signal that was also unfortunately missed by the onboard microphone, apparently wittering on about something concerning 'Mysterons' or some such gibberish... probably just the Martian wind...

          Now back to NASA spokesperson, Captain Black, in Mission Control.

          1. Wzrd1

            Re: "or similar..."

            "Now back to NASA spokesperson, Captain Black, in Mission Control."

            If we're going to play that show, I vote for an investigation by Captain Scarlett. Johansson. ;)

            Damn, but did I give my age away in knowing what show that was.

        3. Wzrd1

          Re: "or similar..."

          "Laser wouldn't hit just a few pixels in one camera, mon."

          Unless the rover itself had the laser and that was the scintillation return.

          As the rover doesn't have a ranging laser that I'm aware of, NASA would know if the thing was on and a lot more should be scintillating, we'll say that a laser is flat out wrong.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "He may be mad... BUT at least he is looking"

      Ever actually visited Scott Waring's site? He doesn't look. He finds. Everywhere, always, on and in everything. A meteorite impacting a volcano in Mexico is of course aliens returning to their secret base, USS Voyager-shaped shadows on the moon are alien battleships, SOHO Observer image artifacts are a fleet of Borg cubes orbiting the sun. The simplest explanation is never the correct one for good old Scott.

  3. Jack 4

    Isn't this...

    ...the way all the trouble started in Europa Report? It's all going to end in man eating, radioactive sand-sand squid I'm telling you.

    1. Katie Saucey
      Alien

      Re: Isn't this...

      " It's all going to end in man eating, radioactive sand-sand squid I'm telling you."

      More like Tremors then? Good thing Curiosity is pack'n that laser.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100814/

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Disgusted!

    It seems one can't go anywhere these days without being confronted by lowest most base of individuals, apparently there are even flashers on Mars.

    I blame all this interporn stuff and freedom of speech, it's about time the government did something.

    I can tell you one thing! I certainly won't be going to Mars any time soon unless they clear up this filth.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Disgusted!

      Exodus 13:21

      "Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people."

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Disgusted!

        Writing it that way sounds much better than "they walked towards an erupting volcano"

      2. Steven Roper

        Re: Disgusted!

        Erupting volcano? More likely it was just Moses walking up front carrying a large flame torch soaked in animal fat.

      3. I Am Spartacus
        Mushroom

        Eltam on the edge of the Wilderness?

        What? It moved from South East London and I missed it?

        Oh, I guess it means being next to Welling and Lewisham. Yes, that is being next to a wilderness. I mean, have you seen the shopping centre in Lewisham? Now that really is a depressing place, the squalor of which cannot be described by mere words alone.

        So, as you were, Eltham is on the edge of the wilderness.

        Incidentally, there were several attempts to but it down during the London riots. Does this mean that the oiks stealing from the burning Primark were actually doing the Lord's work with their burning pillar of flames?

        1. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: Eltam on the edge of the Wilderness?

          [...] the shopping centre in Lewisham [...] which cannot be described by mere words alone.

          Billy Jenkins managed it with words and music though.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Disgusted!

        "Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness..."

        First reading, I thought that the Children of Israel were camping in Eltham. I know a lot of bad stuff has happened to those guys through the ages, but no-one would wish that on them....

  5. aregross
    Pirate

    Robbie the Robot

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4c/Robbie_Forbidden_Planet.jpg

  6. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Testing the Sky Beam™

    before opening the new MGM Luxor Mars casino.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Alien

    Aliens are suckers for these kind of trinkets.

    tiny statues, fossils, and a carved alien skull

    All made in Taiwan!

  8. Marshalltown
    Holmes

    Small meteorite strike

    They need a scan of the location by a mapping satellite. I would say the best possiblility, given the geometry of the flash is a small meteorite strike between the more remote ridge and a slightly lower one nearer the rover.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Small meteorite strike

      And they can triangulate using the other camera's image... oh, wait...

      1. Marshalltown

        Re: Small meteorite strike

        All you do is take a new image of the area and run a difference between it and a previous image. They find new craters that way quite often on both Mars and the Moon.

  9. Steve K Silver badge

    Backlit dust devil?

    I thought it could be a backlit dust devil when looking at the enlargement, but the fact it is not in the other stereo image would seem to rule that out.

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Backlit dust devil?

      "I thought it could be a backlit dust devil..."

      The fact that it was front lit rather rules it out as well. Look at the hills and see what is better lit.

      Now, if they kept getting something like that, it'd be worthwhile to see what reflective mineral survives being sand blasted, yet can still reflect.

  10. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Flame

    It's John Carter's campfire...

    The poor guy obviously moved to Mars to get away from us, and now we are tracking him down with a nuclear-powered laser tank!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: It's John Carter's campfire...

      Alan Carter's campfire more like.

  11. Don Jefe
    Alien

    Caesar's Commentaries on Marco Polo's Dinner with Prestor John

    I wonder where skeptics and conspiracy 'buffs' think their search for the truth, or whatever they call it, will lead? If they were told by NASA, say, 'Yes, we believe the beam of light in the photo is emanating from the roof of what appears to be an ancient Martian drive in theater that has been converted into a Martian titty bar. The rather unique spectrum of the light is a perfect match, adjusted for atmospheric differences, to that used in both the alien craft and the 'flight suits' of the aliens we have at Area 51. Based on interpretations by our cunning linguists, we believe the aliens we have here were somehow tricked into boarding a craft without enough fuel to return to Mars and their former 'girlfriends' have been pleasing their former colleagues, sexually, since that time'.

    Would it be shouts of jubilation that their suspicions have proven true? Would they think they were still only getting 'part of the truth'? What do they expect?

    1. Gert Leboski

      Re: Caesar's Commentaries on Marco Polo's Dinner with Prestor John

      I can roll with that. Makes perfect sense to me and it's good to know that Mars has a quantifiable population of sluts. Billy Shatner is our only hope!

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Caesar's Commentaries on Marco Polo's Dinner with Prestor John

        Sorority Girls from SOLAR IV: The Curiosity Files!

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Caesarian Commentary on Feasts Feted with Stellar Bodies

        I can roll with that. Makes perfect sense to me and it's good to know that Mars has a quantifiable population of sluts. Billy Shatner is our only hope! .... Gert Leboski

        Angels of XSSXXXXualised Delight, Gert Leboski, not sluts, and with Imperial Grand Mastery of ITs Arts and Heavenly Craft for the Glorious Vice in Sinful Saints and Saintly Sinners.

        Fab Fabless Dessert like No Other.

    2. Wzrd1

      Re: Caesar's Commentaries on Marco Polo's Dinner with Prestor John

      Wow, reading that took me from the bar scene in Total Recall to Earth Girls are Easy. ;)

    3. cray74

      Re: Caesar's Commentaries on Marco Polo's Dinner with Prestor John

      " If they were told by NASA, say..."

      Too bad this flash of light wasn't spotted by conspiracy nuts in March. NASA's April 1st response could've been hilarious.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're all wrong

    Its was Elvis Pressely giving a rock concert, unbeknown the the rover, with all the dazzle and stadia lights.

  13. John Savard Silver badge

    One line, one pixel

    If the light were in a single pixel, or in several pixels belonging to a scan line, I would have no problem accepting that it was due to radiation interfering with the rover's electronics. However, the image given with the article seems to indicate otherwise, although I suppose that could conceivably be a compression artifact.

    However, this doesn't mean Edison on Mars just yet. Perhaps the sun's glare reflected off of a shiny rock on Mars, which could even explain why it only showed up on one of two stereo cameras.

    1. geet

      Re: One line, one pixel

      Those cool pictures from particle accelerators like the LHC create showers of particles heading away in various directions (easily 90 degree angles). They really indicate that's exactly what we'd expect. I personally wonder if it's small enough to be a cosmic ray hit. Cosmic rays are more common on Mars' surface than Earth's, as they are not deflected by a magnetic field like Earth's. So a single camera image like this (out of tens of thousands) is far more likely than with the average consumer-grade camera in your back yard. They happen on Earth occasionally, too, so we know what they look like.

      To put things in perspective, the most energetic cosmic ray detected (one particle) had the kinetic energy of a baseball because of how close it was traveling to the speed of light. Imagine a baseball hitting a camera's sensor, only concentrated in the area of a few hundred pixels.

      1. Pookietoo

        Re: One line, one pixel

        I have a feeling that a particle big and fast enough to take out a few hundred pixels would probably take out the rest of the camera too. AIUI most of these things are small enough that they just shoot by, hitting nothing much.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: One line, one pixel

      They should never have bought that image processing filter software from JJ Abrams.

  14. stucs201

    The chances of anything coming from mars are a million to one he said

    What colour is that bright light? Better hope its not a green flare...

    1. MrXavia

      Re: The chances of anything coming from mars are a million to one he said

      No matter, we have even worse germs since the last time they came... now we have Swine flu and Bird flu to hit them with...

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: The chances of anything coming from mars are a million to one he said

        "Puny humans. We Martians have developed a technique for transferring all of your acquired immunities to our own bodies."

        "Damn, you got us beat straight this time, Marty. We might as well give ourselves up for your chow time now. So, for starters, may I recommend a carpaccio of Gaëtan Dugas?"

  15. Sokolik

    It's Obvious!

    Every Colonial Baby-Boomer knows exactly what this is. It's sun glare because some 2d Lt doesn't know to lower the windshield on his Jeep.

  16. Mark 85 Silver badge

    It's a Sandworm

    The Spice must flow....

  17. thx1138v2

    Is "cosmic ray hit" the 21st century equivalent of a 1947 "weather balloon"?

  18. Palf
    Alert

    Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy fame has posted an animated gif of the left and right NAVCAM views, showing that it's in one and not the other. Normally that would be the end of the argument, but not necessarily in this case. That's because we're looking at irregular terrain and the occlusion details differ between left and right cameras.

    There's also the issue of simultaneity between the two cameras; then the left camera showing nothing would mean that the flash only began in time for the right camera to grab it.

    Either or both of these caveats argue for Curiosity to live up to her name, and to get the hell over there and check it out. But this is NASA, so they won't.

    1. Wzrd1

      "Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy fame has posted an animated gif..."

      Not really. I've known Phil for ages and am quite familiar with his blog.

      He's really good at showing how some notions are wrong, but some people suffer from fixation.

      They have their own view of what is and it borders on, or even crosses deeply into the realm of delusion.

      And worse, they're not shy about sharing their delusions with anyone unfortunate to come across them.

      "Either or both of these caveats argue for Curiosity to live up to her name, and to get the hell over there and check it out. But this is NASA, so they won't."

      OK, I'll bite. *Precisely* where is "over there"? Can you provide precise direction and range?

      That said, if it's repeated and the location of "flash" corresponds to the same area, it *would* give a decent range and bearing. I know of a lot of geologists who would *love* to know what mineral could withstand Martian sandblasting and still remain reflective.

      I'd pay real money for it, get my glasses made of it so they won't scratch or chip.

      1. Don Jefe

        I'm curious, what would 'NASA' stand to gain by refusing to investigate a potential sign of extra terrestrial life? As government agencies go, NASA has a pretty damn good track record of jumping onto truly interesting discoveries and being really cool with people in space, and on Earth, cooking up home grown experiments. They deserve quite a bit of credit for fostering creative searches for 'budgetary expansion opportunities' wherever they can find them instead of a DARPA like process that's extremely rigid and inflexible.

        NASA has done a good job hanging on to the funding they've still got. They know very well they're somewhere below God, terrorists, abortions, food stamps and petroleum on the Federal priority list and if they thought there were living beings on Mars you can be absofuckingloutely certain they'd be all about making it huge news, not covering it up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "I'm curious, what would 'NASA' stand to gain by refusing to investigate a potential sign of extra terrestrial life?"

          Indeed. And if they did have something to gain thereby, why for the love of god would they release the photo in the first place?!

      2. NumptyScrub

        quote: "I know of a lot of geologists who would *love* to know what mineral could withstand Martian sandblasting and still remain reflective.

        I'd pay real money for it, get my glasses made of it so they won't scratch or chip."

        My first recommendation would be to try out crystalline Carbon; it tends be be exceedingly expensive, but is also exceedingly abrasion resistant. Unfortunately the refractive index coupled with the material hardness may cause some shaping issues for corrective lenses, so I'll make no guarantees they won't end up looking like the ends of bottles, or have optical defects making them unsuitable for prolonged use. :(

  19. Joe Gurman

    Aliens over Alabama?

    "[A] UFO fleet flying over Alabama?" I know a lot of folks dis 'bama, but calling it flyover country even for aliens is pretty low. Don't think I'd believe anything from that Website.

  20. DropBear Silver badge
    Trollface

    People just have ho shame today

    I mean, flashing lasers at pilots of aircraft coming in for landing is bad enough - now they went all the way to Mars?!?

  21. JCitizen
    Black Helicopters

    Cosmic ray

    I occasionally get a flash of light at night in the vitreous fluid of my eye ball! It only happens once in a blue moon, and is very faint and fast. The energy here on earth is very weak compared to the same experience on the space station. They were very startling at first because I thought I was having a stroke. but I could see the floaters for a split second, so I knew it wasn't a brain aneurysm or anything like that. And not a cloud in the sky I might add - although it could have just as well been lightning from a mild earth quake in our area. Those are even more rare. With the drought and the settling of the Ogallala Aquifer it could very well be. I wonder if any geologists have proposed this for the Mars shot as well? I'm sure Mars has "earth" quakes too!?

  22. regadpellagru
    Joke

    As mad as a box of mad frogs

    ""Look closely at the bottom of the light," Waring wrote. "It has a very flat surface giving us 100% indiction [sic] it is from the surface. Sure NASA could go and investigate it, but hey, they are not on Mars to discovery life, but there to stall its discovery.""

    100% addiction to some substance, I think. Either this or he forgot his pills for the second consecutive day ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As mad as a box of mad frogs

      Wait, they're there to *stall* its discovery? Because if NASA hadn't sent up rovers then somebody else would have, and that somebody would be resource-rich enough to do so but not in the thrall of whatever dark forces manipulate NASA?

      You'd think these guys could at least gin up some motives that make sense given that the actual 'evidence' never will...

  23. Baron Ebaneezer Wanktrollop III

    Finally my childhood dreams of the Leather Goddesses of Phobos being real are coming to life!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It must be helium! a city filled with naked red martians!

      Now where is my interplanetary fax machine.....

  24. d3rrial

    Missed April Fools opportunity

    They should've taken Curiosity's sister-rover to a movie-studio, made it resemble Mars somewhat and let it take photos of the surroundings with alien-looking items scattered all over the place with blatant "MADE IN CHINA" inscriptions ;)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    It's quite obvious to me that.....

    Why can't everyone see what it really is? It's clear as day to me that this is Lady Gaga. Occam's Razor demands that this is the case.

    1. Fink-Nottle

      Re: It's quite obvious to me that.....

      It's probably just a natural phenomenon caused by the release of fetid marsh gas from rotten old material ... Oh! ... I see what you mean about Lady Gaga.

  26. southpacificpom
    Pint

    Answer is quite clear

    Well the answer is that the image is just showing all the hot air rising from Mozilla HQ.

  27. bearded bearcan

    Could it be a rock resembling Australia?

    That would be something!

  28. Greg D

    its a shop.

    I can tell by the pixels. And I've seen some shops in my time.

  29. Matthew 17

    How long would it take Curiosity to drive all the way over there?

    6 months? What if the alien moved?

  30. Rich 2

    Being bonkers doesn't make you wrong

    Whatever your thoughts about the various people that post and pursue this sort of stuff, NASA do have an incredibly long and undistinguished record when it comes to ignoring the bleedin' obvious or (more usually), the bleedin' "what the fuck is that?".

    There are zillions of photos of stuff from Mars and the moon, and elsewhere that if you saw them on Earth you would not hesitate to wander over and take a better look. If you just take a quick look at Scott Waring's web site, and ignore the commentary, it's quite difficult to ignore that some of the photos definitely look "odd" or unnatural, and any sane person with an ounce of curiosity would look closer.

    Of course, "wandering over" isn't so easy on another planet, but even so, NASA have been incredibly good at ignoring stuff that any normal person would be killing themselves to take a better look at. Instead, they would rather spend weeks and months (years?) coming up with strange explanations for stuff.

    I saw a cartoon many years ago of a chap from NASA and some other guy. The second chap was jumping up and down and pointing at an alien. The chap from NASA had his fingers in his ears and his eyes tightly shut. Seems bizarrely accurate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Being bonkers doesn't make you wrong

      "NASA have been incredibly good at ignoring stuff that any normal person would be killing themselves to take a better look at"

      That's because when NASA find people to evaluate photos taken with equipment sent through f*cking space to another planet at immense expense, they choose people who know what they're looking at, and who can recognize red herrings when they see them, not random nitwits from the internet who don't realize that there's a difference between there being something *they* don't understand and something that *nobody* understands.

      And what, pray tell, is your explanation for NASA's motivation to hush up all the interesting stuff that would undoubtedly lead to orders of magnitude more funding for them? Why the hell would an organization devoted to space exploration spend a billion dollars getting a rover to Mars to look for stuff, and then cover up everything they find - except for releasing a few random tidbits with enough information to make people question them?!

      "I know, guys! I've got a great idea! We've devoted our lives to exploring space, but here's what we'll do - when we get there, knowing that our budget is really low, we'll find proof of aliens, but we have to MAKE SURE TO IGNORE IT! I mean obviously we'll release pictures that show definite hints but we'll come up with BS explanations and use a lot of resources in order to avoid explaining it. If we do that, we can make sure that we won't get increases in funding to keep our jobs! Sound awesome?"

      "Hell yeah! We're stupid enough to think this is a good idea; it's amazing we can design a robot that can be operated from millions of miles away for years without breaking down, isn't it?"

      1. jinx3y

        Re: Being bonkers doesn't make you wrong

        Still... you have to laugh at:

        The first is that the light comes from sunlight reflecting off a rock on the Martian surface. A crater on the horizon could have reflected light from the Sun, which was relatively low in the sky when the image was taken.

        That sounds suspiciously like " Light from the planet Venus reflecting off of swamp gas..."

        Nevertheless, sarcasm noted...I tend to agree with you in that they do have people who know what the hell they are doing (as opposed to the "armchair quarterback netizens" who, after reading a couple of Wikipedia articles are now "experts" in field of digital imagery and manipulation...)

      2. Rick Giles
        Trollface

        Re: Being bonkers doesn't make you wrong

        "And what, pray tell, is your explanation for NASA's motivation to hush up all the interesting stuff that would undoubtedly lead to orders of magnitude more funding for them?"

        Executive Order.

        Troll icon, 'cause I know you can't tell.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rusted remains of a VW floorpan found on Mars

    Yes, it's true...

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Q7d7ZAlllG8/U0U2BrWCSJI/AAAAAAAADC8/5zaNrOUU2aA/s320/photo-742403.PNG

  32. NomNomNom

    So that's where MH370 went

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's certainly not life that's for sure! Ha! Very unlikely indeed. A million to one I'd say.

    --

    Ogilvy (Astronomer)

  34. sisk Silver badge

    I've got to say two things about this lunacy. First, I'm pretty sure if there were life on Mars we'd have found it by now. I know it's a big planet and all (actually it's quite a small planet, but there's a lot of surface even on a small planet), but we've been looking pretty closely at it for a long time.

    Second, what possible motive could NAS or JPL have for covering up evidence of life on Mars? Seriously. Those accusations stink of the kind of ignorance that makes me want to reach for a clue-by-four.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I've got to say two things about this lunacy."

      Well, first off, it's obviously not lunacy - presumably it's martiacy or something...

  35. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Alien

    Its

    escaped Kerbals fleeing in terror because they know all we want to do is blow them up on launch again

    wellll.... its as good a theory as anyone else's... eekkk nurse I dont want my medication

  36. Tom 11
    Trollface

    SHOPPED

    You can because of the pixels and the way the shadows are falling.

  37. A J

    WTF

    "... an alien saving a man from a road accident."

    WHY haven't I seen this on YouTube (or World's Craziest Fools with Mr T and his former mohawk that has turned into a poodle pomp) ?

    Please explain.

  38. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Alien

    almost 100 posts

    and nobody's suggested Iludium Q-36 yet?

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