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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > Mar > Mar 19

BBC - UFO Streaks Through Martian Sky

From: Frank Warren <frank-warren.nul>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 19:55:57 -0800
Fwd Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 10:30:15 -0500
Subject: BBC - UFO Streaks Through Martian Sky

Source: BBC News


18 March 2004

UFO streaks through Martian sky
By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor

Thursday, 18 March, 2004, 14:59 GMT

The US Spirit rover on Mars has seen a UFO streak across the Red
Planet sky.

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 ago.

"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 the planet.

Unidentified Object

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 heavens.

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.

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