Since arriving at the International Space Station earlier this year, astronaut Scott Kelly has been tweeting impressive views of Earth. One shot taken over Southern India on Nov. 15 sparked particular interest on social media and had some people claiming Kelly had captured an image of an unidentified flying object.
Yes, according to some hoping to find out if the truth is really out there, Kelly stumbled upon "E.T." heading home.
In the upper right hand corner of the image, which shows a twinkling Indian peninsula below, two small beams that look a lot like headlights in space shine brighter than the surrounding stars against the black backdrop of space.
So, is it a UFO? Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku is skeptical.
"Well, I tell my friends who claim to be abducted by a flying saucer, 'If you're in a flying saucer, steal something,'" he told CBS News jokingly. "I don't care what it is, a pen, a paperweight, anything, so you have bragging rights after you leave the flying saucer, otherwise, you're empty-handed."
On the Internet, Kelly's post became something of an online Rorschach test -- what it shows depends on how the viewer perceives it.
Scott Waring, an editor of a blog called ufosightingsdaily.com, wrote that "when an astronaut tweets a photo of a UFO, you can bet people notice it."
"Scott Kelly likes to send out photos of the view from the windows of the space station...and they look cool," he wrote. "This one however has a cigar shaped glowing UFO with a metallic body in it. The UFO is about 25 meters long and 150-200 meters away. It looks like Scott was trying to hint at the existence of aliens. Message received Scott, and thanks."
Kaku suggested the image might be nothing more than a smudge.
"Eyewitness accounts are not enough, even a photograph could be a smudge. It could be a reflection off someone's windshield, or it could be almost anything," he added. "That's why we want something tangible -- an alien chip, alien DNA -- then the debate is over."
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