iPhone Camera Miracle – Mayan Pyramid Fires Energy Beam Into the Galaxy
This is just a iPhone sensor goof or there is some truth behind this awesome capture. The photo was taken by a Los Angeles resident Hector Siliezar when he visited the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza with his family in 2009. He used his iPhone to take some photos of a pyramid called El Castillo. After snagging a lightning strike in the third shot, Siliezar was surprised to see that he had also captured what appeared to be a beam of light shooting up from the pyramid towards the heavens.
One of the researchers who operates NASA Mars missions’ cameras thinks “it really is an awesome image!”. He also has an explanation about why this happened. One that doesn’t involve the end of the world:
Of the three images, the ‘light beam’ only occurs in the image with a lightning bolt in the background. The intensity of the lightning flash likely caused the camera’s CCD sensor to behave in an unusual way, either causing an entire column of pixels to offset their values or causing an internal reflection (off the) camera lens that was recorded by the sensor.
Hector’s camera EXIF data reveals that the photo with the beam was taken on July 24, 2009 at 2:00:31PM. His iPhone captured the image at 3.85mm focal length, F/2.8 and with a exposure time of 1/436 seconds.
Hector told Earthfiles — a site who claims to have thousands of “real X-files”–that nobody saw the “beam” of light when he took the photos. He could only see it in the image that captured the lightning, corroborating Hill’s technical sensor glitch explanation.