William ‘Captain Kirk’ Shatner spotted a strange “shiny bluish light” in an image captured by the NASA InSight Rover on Mars, and then promptly shared his discovery with the world on Twitter. Before things got out of hand, the space agency Tweeted back: “Just a bit of lens flare as the sun dips low on the horizon. Both photos were taken shortly before sunset. No cause for alarm, Captain!” For those don’t know about the mission, InSight’s objectives are to basically place a seismometer, called SEIS, on the surface of the red planet to measure seismic activity and provide accurate 3D models of the planet’s interior; and measure internal heat flow using a heat probe called HP3 to study Mars’ early geological evolution. Read more for the original Tweet from William Shatner, a video about the InSight and additional information.
What is the shiny bluish light to the right? 🤔 https://t.co/beFpRbNrKx
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) January 16, 2019
“The eye-catching blue lens flare is just one more item in a long line of strange Mars sightings that actually have innocuous explanations. Last year, the Curiosity rover spotted a piece of ‘foreign object debris’ that turned out to be a rock and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped a picture of Pac-Man that was caused by a sand dune in a crater,” reports CNET.
On December 7, 2018 InSight recorded the sounds of Martian winds with SEIS, an instrument that can record vibrations within human hearing range, although rather low, before sending them back to Earth. This was officially the first time the sound of Martian wind was heard after two previous failed attempts