Mysterious Mars Photo Whips Up Buzz
Mysterious Mars Photo Whips Up Buzz, Keen observers say one of Curiosity’s first shots may have captured an “insane coincidence.” Space junkies try to explain mysterious image in photo from Mars rover, A mysterious blotch that appeared along the horizon in a photo from the surface of Mars stirred speculation about what it might be, as two hours later it was gone.
One image from the Curiosity rover as it landed on the fourth planet from the sun showed a “faint but distinctive” image on the horizon, the Los Angeles Times reported. However, a subsequent batch of images sent from the unmanned rover two hours later showed no trace of the blotch.
One theory put forth by space enthusiasts in the L.A. Times story is that Curiosity had somehow snapped a photo of part of the spacecraft that escorted the rover through the Martian atmosphere crash-landing a distance away.
But to capture that image “would be an insane coincidence,” one engineer told the newspaper.
Others say more feasible possibilities would be simply dirt on the lens, or maybe a dust devil twisting far in the distance.
But as more images start to pour into NASA, more is being learned about the rover’s pinpoint landing.
In what some are dubbing the “crime scene” photo of the landing zone taken by another satellite, Curiosity is seen on the ground along with pieces of the spacecraft that broke apart as planned on the way to the surface. The photo reveals the heat shield that protected the rover as it entered the atmosphere and the parachute that helped ease the vehicle onto Mars. Also seen are parts of the “sky crane,” the spacecraft that carried the rover to the planet, the article noted.