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Mars rover Curiosity sends pics of strange white light, dots on horizon creating UFO buzz

PTI 24 Aug 2012, 12:53:11 PM IST
Pasadena, California, Aug 23 : The American space agency NASA has received images from its Mars rover Curiosity showing a strange white light on the Red Planet's horizon and several dots in the Martian sky trigerring a wave of speculations about UFOs  (unidentified flying objects).  

A report by Daily Mail, London says, photographic experts believe these are nothing but blemishes on the images, picked up by the camera lens sitting atop the rover nearly 350 million miles away. 
The report says:
--  Some internet users claim to be able to see a speck of light rapidly traversing the Martian horizon n the images below
-- It may not look like much, but on the dry and barren Mars landscape, any movement is unexpected - and some claim to be able to see a light which apparently lifts itself off the ground below
-- On some returned images from the Curiosity, strange pinpoints appear in the sky - are they spaceships, or just abnormalities on the camera?

So far, Nasa has not commented on any of the strange sightings, but alien hunters have suggested these are alien ships monitoring our baby steps into the universe.
YouTube user StephenHannardADGUK, part of a group called Alien Disclosure UK, spotted the anomalies on the NASA images, publicly available on the space agency's website, and applied a series of filters to try to shed light on the mystery.

Referring to the four pin-points of light pictured in the skies of Mars, he said: 'Four objects caught by Mars Curiosity, very difficult to make out on original image so I have used a few filters to highlight.
'What are these four objects? UFOs, Dust particles, or something else? As always you decide.'
However video analyst Marc Dantonio - who, in the interests of full disclosure, has worked on projects for the U.S. government - told the Huffington Post that these are simply 'dead pixels' in the image - a regular problem in the world of graphics.
Indeed, many computers and mobile phones develop dead pixel problems, as do modern digital camera.
Dantonio said: 'After watching the video, it is actually quite clear that these are one-pixel sized image anomalies.
'I fully concur at this point that these are dead pixels on the imager.

'All CCD [cameras] have them, and in a bland atmosphere like that at Mars, they would be very obvious as opposed to an active atmosphere like Earth, where they could end up hidden for a long time before anyone noticed them.'

Another video appears to show an object rising from the horizon, followed shortly afterwards by another small object.
NASA has not publicly commented on either 'sighting'.
The six-wheeled compact car size Curiosity landed inside a vast, ancient impact crater near Mars' equator on August 6 after an eight-month, 354-million-mile voyage through space.
Earlier today, the rover was seen wiggling its wheels back and fourth during final checks before it sets off across the surface of Mars.
Engineers at mission control have been running a series of tests before the one-ton vehicle's first drive which is expected in the next couple of days.
The Martian motor was also shown flexing its extending robotic arm for the first time.
The 7-foot-long arm maneuvers a turret of tools including a camera, a drill, a spectrometer, a scoop and mechanisms for sieving and portioning samples of powdered rock and soil.
The Mars rover Curiosity zapped its first rock on Sunday with a high-powered laser gun designed to analyze Martian mineral content, and scientists declared their target practice a success.
The robotic science lab aimed its laser beam at the fist-sized stone nearby and shot the rock with 30 pulses over a 10-second period, NASA said in a statement issued from mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles.