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UFO on recent Curiosity photo probably a speck of dust

September 12, 2012Comments No comments

A reader sent UFOEyes a link to a recent photo taken by Curiosity on its 34th day on Mars (thanks!). In it, we see a dark object seemingly hovering over the Martian landscape. While interesting (after all, the image has travelled many millions of kilometers), I’m pretty sure we’re looking at nothing more that a speck of dust on the camera lens.

The dark object highlighted. You can view the original, full-size photo here.

Close-up of the dark object.

Now, when comparing this photo to other photos taken with the same camera on the same day, we can clearly see similar “objects” in many of the photos. Here are two examples:

If we examine a panorama of the images, it becomes increasingly clear that we are looking at dirt on the lens. Click on the below image to get a good look (warning: the image is rather large at 6.7MB).

Panorama of Curiosity’s underbelly. Click for a full-size version (6.7MB).

You can find all photos taken by Curiosity on this particular day on NASA’s website dedicated to the mission.

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