Fake news! This selfie taken from NASA International Space Station goes viral

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A selfie of an astronaut with the Earth in the background has gone viral online. It was claimed that the image was taken from the NASA International Space Station (ISS). However, it has now been revealed as a fake image.

Recently, an image went viral on various social media sites. The image displayed an astronaut outside the International Space Station taking a selfie with the Earth in the background. To make the image even more surreal, the nightside of the Earth was shown with all the lights turned up on the planet. However, as surreal as the image looked, it was actually fake. The viral NASA ISS selfie was in reality a combination of two different images altered together. Read on to know the details and how the image was edited to look real.

According to a report by USA Today, which debunked the image, it was first shared in a Facebook group on July 23 with the caption “Best selfie ever from ISS”. The image soon garnered more than 800 shares and was reposted multiple times across different social media platforms. Many users have commented on how amazing the image looks and how beautiful it is, not knowing that the image is not even real.

The NASA ISS Selfie turns out to be a fake

According to USA Today, the astronaut in the foreground of the viral image is Akihiko Hoshide, a Japanese astronaut who went to the ISS in 2012. The selfie was captured by Hoshide on September 5, 2012 during Expedition 32 which was a six person research mission. However, the selfie did not have the Earth in the background. Instead the original image had the Sun shining brightly in the background of the image. Publications like National Geographic have posted the same image which you can check.

The background image of Earth is a separate picture which was created by NASA 12 years before Hoshide took his selfie. On October 23, 2000, the image was published using data from multiple pictures taken during the year 1994 and 1995 of the night-time Earth. The source material for the image was titled ‘Earth’s city lights’ and it can be seen here.

The viral image was made combining both the separate images to make it look more stunning than it actually was. USA Today also reached out to the original poster of the image for a comment but as of writing this, no response was received.

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