Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Tuesday, July 16, 2024

HomeFact CheckPhoto Of Antarctica From Space? No, It’s CGI

Photo Of Antarctica From Space? No, It’s CGI

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Claim

Photo of Antarctica taken from space.

Fact

Newshecker ran a reverse image search of the photo, which led us to this write-up on Slate, dated August 17, 2016, stating that the viral image is actually a visualisation of data, a computer-generated image showing the extent of sea ice around Antarctica on September 21, 2005. A similar article can be seen here.

“The overall image is a composite from several different Earth-observing satellites, but the sea ice is from the AMSR-E detector on board the Aqua satellite. It uses microwaves to measure the extent of ice floating in the ocean. This was then mapped onto a computer-generated globe of the Earth from Blue Marble Next Generation (using different data from AMSR-E to estimate the ice colour). The terrain map is actually from 2004, a year before the ice data was taken,” read the article, featuring the viral photo. The photo’s credit read, “NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio; The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).”

We then looked up NASA’s Scientific Visualisation Studio’s write-up, dated February 15, 2007, where it stated, “In support of International Polar Year, this matching pair of images showing a global view of the Arctic and Antarctic were generated in poster-size resolution. Both images show the sea ice on September 21, 2005, the date at which the sea ice was at its minimum extent in the northern hemisphere.”

Result: Missing Context

Sources
Slate, August 17, 2016
NASA’s Scientific Visualisation Studio


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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