NASA has stepped forward to comment on the Mars rover’s latest photo that has space enthusiasts buzzing. In short, the agency doesn’t think it’s extraterrestrial life.
“What we do know is it’s not E.T. up there,” NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown told TheBlaze.
The bright spot on the Martian horizon taken by the rover Curiosity last week is thought to be sunlight reflecting off a rock or cosmic rays striking the navigation camera’s detector.
“In the thousands of images we’ve received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week,” Justin Maki, who leads the team operating the camera at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. “These can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations.”
Brown also told TheBlaze that NASA scientists have not completely ruled out electrified dust devil as a possibility.
This particular photo was snapped at a location known as “the Kimberley” where scientists are using Curiosity’s instruments to learn more about the planet’s past environmental conditions and how they changed.
TheBlaze’s Jon Seidl contributed to this report.