FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A NASA Picture Of The Himalayas From Space?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook allegedly shows a NASA photo of the Himalayas from space.

Verdict: False

The image is not a NASA photo taken from space but rather a computer-generated piece of artwork.

Fact Check:

Multiple Facebook users have shared what appears to be a stunning view of a large mountain range from space. One user wrote, “Himalayan’s from space. NASA photo credit,” while another said, “Picture of the Himalayas from the International space station.”

The image, however, is not a real NASA picture of that mountain range. A reverse image search traced the picture back to a website called “Views of the Earth: artificial images of our real planet,” where it is labeled as “The Himalaya in Nepal.” The website’s “About” page makes clear that all the images on the site are “generated artificially by use of a Computer.” The creator is Christoph Hormann, according to the website.

“The images here are generated with a method completely different from the one used by programs like Google Earth or NASA World Wind,” the website states. “This technique (raytracing) allows higher quality and more realistic renderings and also can be used to produce much larger and more detailed views as demonstrated by the 5 Gigapixel image.”

NASA shared a genuine picture of the Himalayas taken from the International Space Station (ISS) on its verified Instagram in December 2020. NASA astronaut Mark T. Vande Hei also posted a view of the Himalayas from the ISS on his verified Twitter account in June 2021. (RELATED: No, This Is Not A ‘Photo From Mars’ Fabricated By NASA)

This is not the first time a digital creation has been confused for a NASA photo. For instance, a viral image that purportedly showed a NASA satellite picture of Australian wildfires was actually a digital visualization of wildfire hotspots, Check Your Fact reported last year.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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