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NASA photo captures mysterious light on Mars

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:02 AM -

Lots of people are talking about a mysterious, bright light on Mars.

NASA released a photo snapped by the Mars Rover last week.

"Images taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on April 2 and April 3 include bright spots, which might be due to the sun glinting off a rock or cosmic rays striking the camera's detector," says NASA on their website.

NASA's comments however, haven't stopped speculation.


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


Some space enthusiasts say they think the light is being projected from underground and is a sign of possible life.

"This could indicate there is intelligent life below the ground and uses light as we do," read a post on ufosightingsdaily.com. "There is not a glare from the sun, nor is it an artifact of the photo process. Look closely at the bottom of the light. It has a very flat surface giving us 100% indication it is from the surface."

"In the thousands of images we've received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week," said Justin Maki of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., leader of the team that built and operates the Navigation Camera. "These can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations."

According to NASA, if the bright spots in the images are from a glinting rock, the directions of the spots from the rover suggest the rock could be on a ridge about 175 yards (160 meters) from the rover's April 3 location.

Researchers plan to use Curiosity's science instruments to learn more about habitable past conditions and environmental changes.

NASA- This image from the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover includes a bright spot near the upper left corner. The sun is in the same direction, west-northwest, above the frame. Bright spots appear in images from the rover nearly every week. Typical explanations for them are cosmic rays hitting the light detector or sunlight glinting from rocks.

NASA- This image from the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover includes a bright spot near the upper left corner. The sun is in the same direction, west-northwest, above the frame. Bright spots appear in images from the rover nearly every week. Typical explanations for them are cosmic rays hitting the light detector or sunlight glinting from rocks.

With files from NASA

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