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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old April 8 2014, 06:58 PM   #1
gturner
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Location: Kentucky
Intriguing photo from Mars

Strange bright thing photographed by a rover.

To me, the zoomed in view looks like an exhaust plume from some vent (Mars atmosphere is very very thin, so no roiling).

I think we can safely dismiss the offered theory that it's a bright light from an underground civilization for a variety of reasons, foremost because that's stupid.
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Old April 8 2014, 07:01 PM   #2
SpookyCat
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

Well now, that's interesting. If it's not a vent, then what is it?
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Old April 8 2014, 07:08 PM   #3
DarthTom
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

^^ That is interesting. I'm a subscriber to Scott Waring's RSS news feed to get my daily laugh about UFO conspiracy theories [as referenced in the article] so I didn't take what he had seriously.

Now that a more legitimate news source has picked this up- it is much more interesting. Anyone have any legitimate speculation?
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Old April 8 2014, 07:26 PM   #4
RoJoHen
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

Weird. It does look like some kind of vent spewing gas or fire or out from under the surface. No idea what else it could be.
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Old April 8 2014, 07:37 PM   #5
gturner
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

More at Fox

"One possibility is that the light is the glint from a rock surface reflecting the sun," NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) lead for the engineering cameras on Curiosity Justin Maki told FoxNews.com.

Maki explained that the bright spots appear in single images taken by the Navigation Camera on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover's right-eye but not its left. In the right-eye images, the spot is in different locations and is seen at the ground surface level in front of a crater rim on the horizon.

"When these images were taken each day, the sun was in the same direction as the bright spot, west-northwest from the rover, and relatively low in the sky," said Maki. "The rover science team is also looking at the possibility that the bright spots could be sunlight reaching the camera's CCD directly through a vent hole in the camera housing, which has happened previously on other cameras on Curiosity and other Mars rovers when the geometry of the incoming sunlight relative to the camera is precisely aligned."
The shape does bear a lot of resemblance to coma, an optical aberration in a lens system where a point source is spread into a blur towards one side.

eta: If they go with "glinty rock" then it's more likely to be a reflection off the windshield of an ancient Mars spaceship that was downed during a battle with Venusian raiding forces.
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Old April 8 2014, 09:41 PM   #6
Lieut. Arex
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

looks like Marvin's Spotlighting deer
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Old April 8 2014, 09:46 PM   #7
lurok
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

AMEE?
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Old April 8 2014, 11:21 PM   #8
sojourner
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

I thought I read that this image is one of two taken with a stereoscopic setup. The "light" only showing in the left hand image and not in the right, leading to speculation that it's just an imaging error.
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Old April 9 2014, 11:39 AM   #9
Metryq
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

"Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and refracted the light from Venus."
—K, MIB
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Old April 9 2014, 12:13 PM   #10
Stoo
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

Cosmic rays hitting a few pixels.
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Old April 9 2014, 01:41 PM   #11
JarodRussell
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

One of those dust devils.

Rather just an image error.
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Old April 9 2014, 08:57 PM   #12
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

Did someone let J J Abrams loose with the camera?
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Old April 10 2014, 10:18 PM   #13
Noname Given
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

The planet Venus?
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Old April 10 2014, 10:31 PM   #14
Davros
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

I can't help but think of this.

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Old April 12 2014, 05:58 PM   #15
publiusr
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Re: Intriguing photo from Mars

Each type of camera has its own type of artifacts. I seem to remember that a supposed UFO photograph was just the camera's iris showing up somehow.

Not that lights can't come out of the ground
http://www.nature.com/news/earthquak...-zones-1.14455

One thing I would like to see is an array of three different types of cameras. One digital, one camcorder/VHS, and one film.

If all three pick something up--it is probably real.

One book I'd like to see might be called "A Skeptic's guide to Camera Artifacts."
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