08/07/2014 05:26 BST | Updated 08/07/2014 05:59 BST

Mars UFO Mystery Images Explained By NASA

NASA has come out and given a statement on the 'white spot' UFO pictures taken by the Curiosity Rover on Mars.

Sadly whilst we'd love it to be the first signs on alien life, NASA has a far more routine answer which is that it's nothing more than a camera malfunction.

Speaking to The Huffington Post in the US, Curiosity's main camera operator Justin Maki explained that, "This is a hot pixel that has been around since we started using the Right Navcam,"

mars bright spot

"In the thousands of images we've received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week, these can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations."

According to Photography Life a 'hot pixel' is a common side-effect of long exposure shots, the sensor overheats and pixels will either momentarily fail or simply stop working.

This brings an end to the mystery surrounding a series of images which Curiosity sent back that contained what looked like bright lights shining in the distance.

If on the rare occasion a 'hot pixel' isn't to blame then NASA suggests that it could be down to a range of different factors from cosmic rays to light simply reflecting off of a light.