[meteorite-list] UFO Streaks Through Martian Sky
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:32:51 2004
UFO streaks through Martian sky
By Dr David Whitehouse
March 18, 2004
The US Spirit rover on Mars has seen a UFO streak across the Red Planet
Astronomers say it could be the first meteor seen from the surface of
another world, or a redundant orbiting spacecraft sent to Mars 30 years
"We may never know, but we are still looking for clues," said Dr Mark
Lemmon, from Texas A&M University.
Whatever it was, Spirit was lucky to catch sight of the UFO as the
rover's main mission is to look downwards to study rocks and soil on
Only occasionally does it raise its sights towards the sky to study
the atmosphere of Mars.
But it was on just such an occasion when Spirit was observing the sky
with the green filter of its panoramic camera that the roving geologist
came across the surprise - a streak across the peach-coloured Martian
Mission controllers say the streak was probably the brightest object
in the sky at the time.
If the UFO was not a shooting a star then it could have been one of
seven out-of-commission spacecraft that still orbit Mars.
>From the object's motion, scientists do not think it was the Russian
probes Mars 2, Mars 3, Mars 5, or Phobos 2; or the American probes
Mariner 9 or Viking 1.
That leaves Viking 2, which has a polar orbit that would fit with
the north-south orientation of the streak.
In addition, only Viking 1 and 2 are in orbits that could produce
the type of motion as fast as that seen by Spirit.
Received on Thu 18 Mar 2004 11:34:50 AM PST