Nearly 100 Redditors came to the amatuer alien detective's aid to provide some in-depth insight.
“They forgot to photoshop that one out … love how skeptical the mods are … you could have aliens waving hi through the windshield and it would be flagged as a likely prosaic,” wrote Redditor ‘crazylegs99’.
“Looks like the old Batmobile,” added ‘Blue_eyed_sasquatch’, while ‘RPmatrix’ said: “Looks like a slick sports version of some martian RV .. to me!”
Meanwhile, user ‘OnceReturned’ took a more evidence-based approach, suggesting the UFO is actually part of the debris from Opportunity’s arrival on the red planet.
As the Rover plunged toward the Red Planet on January 25, 2004, it was encapsulated in a protective aeroshell made up of a heat shield and backshell.
A timestamp comparison from the picture – 12:45:41 Mars local solar time – and a photo taken of the Rover’s heatshield some six minutes earlier – 12:39:51 Mars local solar time – indicates that it’s likely the Rover was at its crash site at the time the suspicious image was captured. Therefore, it probably snapped a shot of its backshell as it surveyed its new surroundings.
“Sure, it could be the smoking gun, but I think that given the context provided by the timestamped image above, it seems that entry debris would be the most parsimonious explanation,” wrote ‘OnceReturned’ in their UFO debunk.
The theory is backed up by Scott Brando of UFO of Interest who referred to a 2004 Space.com article about the images as further evidence Opportunity was photographing its crash site at the time the UFO was spotted.
However, we want to know what do you think the photographed object is?