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Faces in space: Five weird images captured by NASA

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 2:50 PM -

NASA is making headlines this week after photos of a weird light on Mars were made public.

For some, the new image serves as irrefutable proof of life elsewhere in the universe.

But NASA is trying to downplay the speculation, arguing the the light is most likely due to the "sun glinting off a rock or cosmic rays striking the camera's detector" -- but that hasn't stopped rumors from flying.


SEE ALSO: NASA releases first-ever view of Earth from the surface of Mars


It's all par for the course for the space agency. After all, this isn't the first time NASA has published a weird photo.

Here are five other NASA photos that have made headlines.

1. THE MARS FACE

The  infamous "Face on Mars" was first captured by NASA's Viking1 in 1976, and it has since become a pop culture icon -- making appearances in books, films and magazines.

"Some people think the Face is bona fide evidence of life on Mars -- evidence that NASA would rather hide, say conspiracy theorists," NASA writes.

"Meanwhile, defenders of the NASA budget wish there was an ancient civilization on Mars."

Sadly, high resolution images taken in 2010 showed the face formation was nothing more than a rocky hill.

2. HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU KID: THE HELIX NEBULA

While not a bona fide face, the helix nebula deserves an honourable mention.

Photographed by NASA's Hubble Telescope, this mass of super-hot gases is often referred to as the 'eye of God'.


RELATED: Scientists track whales from space


3. LIBYA MONTES

This weird image made headlines in 2000 when it was captured by the Mars Global Surveyor.

Unlike many space faces, the Libya Montes pattern can be seen from multiple angles.

4. COOKIE MONSTER? IS THAT YOU?

Crater photo courtesy: NASA Cookie Monster photo courtesy PBS/Facebook

Crater photo courtesy: NASA Cookie Monster photo courtesy PBS/Facebook

This Mercury crater, photographed by the MESSENGER spacecraft in 2012, has often been compared to Cookie Monster ... but we're not convinced.

What do you think?

5. THE GALLE CRATER

First Cookie Monster, now this. Space sounds like it would be a fun place to visit, if it weren't for the lack of oxygen and gravity.

The Galle crater was photographed by the Mars Global Surveyor in 1999, and it's often referred to, fittingly, as the "happy face crater."

All photos (except for Cookie Monster) courtesy of NASA.

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