FACT CHECK: Is This Image The ‘Most Clear Picture Of The Sun Surface’ Published By NASA?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims to show a photo of the sun that was published by NASA.

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

There is no record of NASA publishing the image. It is an edited picture from an independent photographer.

Fact Check:

Multiple Facebook users have shared the photo this month with captions describing the image as the “most clear picture of the sun surface published by NASA.” (RELATED: Did NASA Announce A 13th Zodiac Sign?)

However, Check Your Fact didn’t find any record of NASA publishing the image in the galleries of sun photos on the agency’s website. The image also cannot be found on NASA’s verified social media accounts. Karen Fox, NASA’s heliophysics communications lead, confirmed to AFP that the picture is “not a NASA image.”

Michigan-based photographer Jason Guenzel took and edited the picture, a reverse image search revealed. He posted the image on his Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts in January. Guenzel also said on FineArtAmerica.com that the image was a “stylized rendition of a solar close-up.”

“By collapsing the details of the chromosphere into thinner linear features, we begin to trace out magnetic field lines of the surface and create an entirely unique look into these structures! A complex, tangled web with some depth seems to appear,” Guenzel wrote on Instagram. “This passes from science into art, but I wouldn’t entirely dismiss that we are seeing the indications of some real phenomena here. What do you think?”

The Solar Orbiter, a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency, captured what NASA described in July 2020 as the “closest pictures ever taken of the Sun.” Those pictures, as well as other photos of the Sun’s surface, can be found on NASA’s website.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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