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Friday, April 11, 2014

NASA has 3 Answers on Mars Mystery. Is ET One of Them?

Light on Mars
Photo Taken By Mars Curiosity Rover


A NASA camera on Mars has captured what appears to be artificial light emanating outward from the planet’s surface.

Photos taken April 2 and April 3 by a camera on the Curiosity rover were beamed millions of miles from Mars to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

According to NASA, a bright spot appears in single images taken by the stereo camera’s «right eye» camera, but the spot doesn’t show up in images taken less than a second later by the left-eye camera.

In the two right-eye images, the spot is in different locations of the image frame, and, in both cases, at the ground surface level in front of a crater rim on the horizon, Justin Maki, a NASA imaging scientist said April 8 by email through a spokesman.

Explanation #1 by NASA
«One possibility is that the light is the glint from a rock surface reflecting the sun,» Maki said in the statement. «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.»

Explanation #2
Another possibility is that the bright spots are sunlight reaching the camera’s image sensor through a vent hole in the camera housing, which has happened before with Curiosity and other Mars rovers, the agency said.

Explanation #3
«We think it’s either a vent-hole light or a glinty rock,» Maki said in the emailed statement. Another possibility is that it’s a cosmic ray striking the camera’s detector, he added.

So the truth of the matter is that NASA has no clue as to where the source of the light on Mars is coming from, so if you care to go with extraterrestrials that is certainly your prerogative. It is every bit as valid and NASA’s explanation.

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Curiosity Rover Photographs Bright ‘Light’ on Mars, Cue Conspiracy Theorists

Light on Mars

Take a look at the photo above. It was taken recently by the Mars Curiosity Rover and contains a ‘light’ in the top left that has caused such a fuss NASA actually had to come out and clarify that it wasn’t, in fact, anything of consequence.

Personally, I like the photo in general. A moody, monochrome landscape from a different planet — like Ansel Adams on Mars (if he was a robot and not nearly as good at composing his shots).

But in case you were hoping that this really is proof that aliens light camp fires or occasionally turn on the lights by accident while Curiosity is looking, here’s NASA’s explanation of the photo:

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…

One possible explanation for the bright spot in this image is a glint from a rock surface reflecting the sun. Another is a cosmic ray hitting the camera’s light detector, a CCD (charge-coupled device). Cosmic ray patterns in Mars rover images vary from a dot to a long line depending on the angle at which the ray strikes the detector.

Here’s a closer crop:

Light on Mars

So, like the mysterious donut jelly rock before it, it seems this is in fact nothing more than a standard aberration that NASA engineers see fairly frequently. Not that that’ll do nothing to dissuade determined conspiracy theorists.

If you’d like to pixel peep the photo and investigate for yourself, you can head over to the NASA JPL website and download the high-res TIFF by clicking here.

“Bright Light” on Mars is Just an Image Artifact

Thanks to everyone who has emailed, Tweeted and texted me about the “artificial bright light” seen on Mars. And I’m so sorry to disappoint all the folks who were hoping for aliens, but what you see above is just an image artifact due to a cosmic ray hitting the right-side navigation camera on the Curiosity rover.

If you do a little research, you can see that the light is not in the left-Navcam image that was taken at the exact same moment (see that image below). Several imaging experts agree this is a cosmic ray hit, and the fact that it’s in one ‘eye’ but not the other means it’s an imaging artifact and not something in the terrain on Mars shooting out a beam of light.

Update: JPL imaging specialists with the MSL mission have now weighed in on these images. “In the thousands of images we’ve received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week,” said Justin Maki in a press release from JPL. Maki is 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.”

If the bright spots in the April 2 and April 3 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.

The bright spots appear in images from the right-eye camera of the stereo Navcam, but not in images taken within one second of those by the left-eye camera. Maki said, “Normally we can quickly identify the likely source of a bright spot in an image based on whether or not it occurs in both images of a stereo pair. In this case, it’s not as straightforward because of a blocked view from the second camera on the first day.”

Cosmic ray hits happen frequently on spacecraft that don’t have the benefit of being in Earth’s thick atmosphere. And frequently, people seem to get excited about what shows up in imagery that have been affected. For example, one guy thought there was a huge base on Mars based on some he saw on Google Mars.

Getting hit by a cosmic ray can have some serious consequences for a spacecraft — sometimes it can put them into what’s called “safe mode” where only basic functions operate, or other times it can mess up data (like what happened with Voyager 2 in 2010 where the data sent back to Earth was unreadable). Usually, engineers are able to fix the problem and get the spacecraft back in working order.

Cosmic rays can even show up in imagery taken by astronauts on the International Space Station, like this one by astronaut Don Pettitt in 2012:

Astronauts also report seeing flashes — even with their eyes closed — whenever cosmic rays zip through their eyeballs. You can read more about that here.

And so far, none of these blips, lights or flashes seen on space imagery has ever been “because aliens.”

If you really want to see some amazing things, look at the imagery taken by Curiosity in its currently location on Mars. See all the raw images here, or see some really great colorized and enhanced versions on ‘amateur’ imaging blogs like those by Stuart Atkinson, James Canvin, Damia Bouic, Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society, or the work done by Ken Kremer here on Universe Today.

Additionally, if you want to see bright lights associated with Mars, all you have to do is look up in the sky at night and see Mars shining brilliantly in the sky right now. Mars is in opposition, where it is closest to the Earth, and the “official” closest moment happens today, April 8th! Find out more about how to see it or watch different webcasts taking place today at our previous article here.

Light on Mars Mars, the Full Moon and Spica rising in the east on April 14th. Created using Stellarium.

And for those of you who think we shouldn’t give “air time” to nutty claims like lights on Mars, it is our policy to address and debunk such claims (for example, see our article debunking the latest end of the world claim) in order to make sure the real story and good doses of reality are out there, too, and available to people who are looking for the real story.

A new light spotted on Mars – is it a UFO landing?

No . no, it’s not.

By Carol Christian , Chron.com / Houston Chronicle

Updated 10:44 am CDT, Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Light on Mars

Along with rocks that look like iguanas and mysterious light bulbs, the latest treat from NASA’s Mars rover photos is something that some rover fans say could be a UFO.

Obviously, it’s not.

But as proof – sorry, «proof» – believers say that photos of the red planet’s surface taken last month show what seems to be a bright light about to «land» on Mars’ surface.

«In the distance can be seen a bright light which appears to be descending closer to the surface in the second photo, thus confirming that Big Foot is real,» quipped Break.com.

As explained on the website, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory took a photo with the rover’s Navcam Left camera of some mountains, followed by another shot of the same scene 31 seconds later.

Light on Mars

Photos of what appears to be a white ball of light moving on Mars’ surface, taken by NASA’s Curiosity Rover, are prompting speculation that alien technology may exist on the red planet.

Posted on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory website, the photos show the ball of light in a slightly different position in each of the eight images. The Examiner states that the light’s movement is “compelling evidence” that it is “under intelligent control.”

“The position of the ball of light is different in each of the eight photos which were taken from the same position with slightly different perspectives over a period of 15 minutes.”

The photos, taken by the Rover’s left and right front Hazcams back in January, were recently uploaded to YouTube by blogger Paranormal Crucible (video above), who explains that the ball of light photographed on Mars moves to different positions for each of the two cameras.

“The photographs clearly show a white ball of light surveying the martian surface… it appears to move around in a controlled fashion.”

Could the white ball of light be a dead pixel? Paranormal Crucible explains that the light is not a dead pixel because “it would remain in the same location” regardless of its field of view. He goes on to say that because the anomaly changes position eight times, it indicates that the object is “under intelligent control.”

Do the photos prove there is life on Mars? While the photos are far from confirmation that extraterrestrial life exists on the red planet, the Examiner states that there are two possible explanations for what appears to be a moving ball of light, the first being an “intelligently guided unmanned drone.”

“Balls of light have been filmed on Earth creating crop circles. This suggests that it is possible that the Mars light ball can have a number of purposes in addition to the obvious one of surveillance.”

The second explanation that the light ball is “some kind of indigenous intelligence” roaming around Mars references a book written by UFO researcher Paola Harris, UFOs: How Does One Speak To A Ball Of Light. In her book, Harris speaks to the possibility that balls of light are “a form of consciousness capable of communication.”

Is the white ball of light captured by NASA’s Rover Curiosity really evidence of life on Mars or just wild speculation?

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NASA Photo: Artificial Light on Mars? Alien Beacon? (Photos)

The Curiosity rover scanning the surface of Mars took a photo of what looks like an artificial light flaring up.

The rover was investigating The Kimberly, an area thought to have been particularly conducive to life at one time. The photo, taken last week, has excited UFO enthusiasts.

“Bad Astronomy” blogger Phil Plait, on the other hand, said it’s probably a cosmic ray. Subatomic particles in space that are blocked by our atmosphere on Earth can interfere with cameras in space leaving such a spot, he said.

International Space Station astronaut Don Pettit wrote about seeing flashes from cosmic rays on his blog:

“In space I see things that are not there. Flashes in my eyes, like luminous dancing fairies, give a subtle display of light that is easy to overlook when I’m consumed by normal tasks. But in the dark confines of my sleep station, with the droopy eyelids of pending sleep, I see the flashing fairies. As I drift off, I wonder how many can dance on the head of an orbital pin.”

NASA has not yet released a statement on the flash.

Photos of the same spot were taken by two separate cameras, one from a camera on the rover’s right side and the other on its left. The images from the camera on the left do not show the flash as those on the right do.

Light on Mars
Image taken by the Curiosity Mars rover. (NASA)

Light on Mars
Image taken by the Curiosity Mars rover. (NASA)

Light on Mars
Image taken by the Curiosity Mars rover. (NASA)

Light on Mars
Images taken by the Curiosity Mars rover. On top is one taken by the rover’s right-side camera, showing a light spot; on the bottom is one taken by the rover’s left-side camera. (NASA)

Загадочный огонек на Марсе вызвал жаркие споры в Интернете

Яркая вспышка света на поверхности Марса, сфотографированная марсоходом NASA Curiosity, вызвала жаркие споры в Интернете. Некоторые пользователи заявили, что необычный яркий объект, похожий на мерцающий вдалеке огонек, имеет неестественное происхождение. NASA же объясняет возникновение ярких точек либо лучами Солнца, которые отражаются от марсианских камней, либо попаданием космических лучей на детектор камеры.

Марсоход Curiosity сфотографировал яркую вспышку света на поверхности Марса, которая находится в той же стороне от ровера, что и Солнце. Специалисты NASA сообщили, что засекали вспышку два дня подряд – 2 и 3 апреля. Это были 588 и 589 марсианские дни (так называемые sol). Огонек находился в 160 метрах от Curiosity.

Между тем в Сети разгорелись жаркие споры и появились различные теории возникновения данного «огонька» на снимке. В частности, были мнения, что фотография доказывает существование разумных существ, живущих под землей. NASA же, опровергая данную точку зрения, считает, что это либо блик горной породы, либо глюк камеры, в матрицу которой попал космический луч.

Разнообразные яркие пятнышки на марсианских фотографиях не являются редкостью, они регистрируются практически каждую неделю. Обычно такие эффекты вызваны Солнцем, лучи которого отражаются от марсианских камней, или попаданием космических лучей на детектор камеры.

По данным NASA, о том, что это всего лишь случайный дефект, говорит тот факт, что огонек виден на снимках, сделанных правой навигационной стерео-камерой (right-eye camera of the stereo Navcam), а на фотографиях левой камеры ничего подобного не наблюдается.

Light on Mars

На фотографии левой камеры от 4-го апреля загадочного огонька нет

Обычно мы довольно быстро определяем вероятный источник яркого пятна на изображении в зависимости от того, появляется оно или нет в обоих детекторах. В этом случае все было не так просто из-за закрытого вида со второй камеры.

– Джастин Маки из Лаборатории реактивного движения NASA в Пасадене

Home > Tanks > Mars 15

Prototype light tank

The Mars 15 light tank was based on a common armored tracked chassis

Light on Mars
Country of originFrance
Entered service
Crew3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight16 t
Length (gun forward)6.83 m
Hull length5.6 m
Width2.98 m
Height2.6 m
Armament
Main gun90 mm rifled
Machine guns1 x 7.62 mm
Elevation range?
Traverse range360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun30 rounds
Machine guns3 600 rounds
Mobility
EngineBaudouin GF12SRY diesel
Engine power420 hp
Maximum road speed75 km/h
Range600 km
Maneuverability
Gradient60%
Side slope30%
Vertical step0.8 m
Trench1.8 m
Fording1 m

In the early 1980s development of new family of tracked armored vehicles commenced in France. Full-scale development started in 1988. The VBM (Vehicule Blindee Modulaire) family was developed by Creusot-Loire Industrie as a private venture. French designers were developing a whole family of tracked armored vehicles, based on a common chassis. These were mainly aimed at export customers as a successors to the AMX-13 light tank and family of light armored vehicles. At some point this project was renamed to Mars 15.

Common armored tracked chassis of the Mars 15 has a front-mounted engine. Rear area can be fitted with various modules. In concept it is similar to the British FV101 Scorpion. A number of vehicles were proposed, such as light tanks with 90 mm and 105 mm guns, infantry fighting vehicle, 155 mm self-propelled howitzer, air defense gun and missile carriers, command post vehicle, anti-tank missile carrier, 120 mm mortar carrier, armored ambulance, artillery observation vehicle, surveillance radar carrier, recovery vehicle and some other. These vehicles have a weight of 15-18 t, depending on the version. However development of most variants has not progressed beyond the drawing board.

The Mars 15 family of vehicles had a number of advantages over the AMX-13 family, which was developed soon after the World War II. It was easier to operate and maintain, had improved protection, greater cross-country mobility, lower life-cycle costs and other advantages.

First two prototypes of light tank with a 90 mm gun and infantry fighting vehicle were revealed in 1990. The third prototype was armed with a 105 mm gun and was revealed in 1991. These should have been followed by a number of other vehicles whose development was decided by the needs of the market. However there were no production orders for any of Mars 15 vehicles. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War market was flooded with cheap main battle tanks from storages.

The first light tank was fitted with a GIAT TS90 two-man turret, armed with a 90 mm gun. The second light tank fitted with GIAT TGG three-man turret, armed with a 105 mm gun. This gun was compatible with all standard NATO 105 mm tank ammunition. Both tanks were fitted with coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.

Chassis of the Mars 15 is of all-welded steel armor. Armor of these combat vehicles was rather thin for a light tank due to weight limitation. Front arc provided protection against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection was against 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell splinters. Add-on armor could be fitted if required. Automatic fire suppression system was fitted as standard. NBC protection system was proposed as an option. Also these armored vehicles had reduced infrared and radar signatures.

Vehicles were powered by French Baudouin GF12SRY supercharged diesel engines, developing 420 hp. Engine was mated to a German Renk HSWL 106 automatic transmission with 6 forward and 3 reverse speeds. The whole powerpack can be replaced in field conditions within an hout. Vehicle is fast and has good mobility due to its light weight and compact dimensions. It has an average power to weight ratio of 25 hp/t. This family of armored vehicles is not amphibious. However all versions of the Mars 15, including light tanks, are air transportable. Vehicles could be airlifted by Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules, TRANSALL C-160 and other military cargo aircraft.

Infantry fighting vehicle, based on the same platform, was armed with American M242 25 mm chain gun. It could accommodate vehicle crew and 8 fully-equipped dismounts.

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