FACT CHECK: No, This Image Of A Sunset From Space Was Not Captured By NASA

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 650 times claims to show a NASA photograph of a sunset taken from space.

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The image is not a photo taken by NASA from space but rather a screen grab of a computer-generated video of a sunrise.

Fact Check:

Social media users have been sharing an image that appears to show an orbital view of the Earth and the distant sun. “This is what sunset on earth looks like from space,” reads the caption of one such post, which credits the photograph to NASA and the International Space Station (ISS). (RELATED: Does This Video Show Footage Captured By The Perseverance Mars Rover)

The photo, however, is a screen grab from a computer-generated video. A reverse image search reveals the same visual can be found within a 19-second video, titled “Sunrise From Space. Earth From Space. Version 2018,” on the website POND5. As the title states, the video shows a sunrise, not a sunset. The video’s description explains it was created by “Pixel25,” an artist based in Germany. An examination of Pixel25’s profile on POND5 makes clear the artist specializes in computer-generated videos of space and Earth. 

“Beautiful atmospheric sunrise from Earth orbit,” reads the video’s caption. “Realistic clouds and atmosphere. View from ISS. Contains space, sun, world, planet. Sat Img by NASA.” The artist has created other videos with similar views, such as “Sunrise From Space. Earth From Space” and “Beautiful Colors Of Atmosphere Sunrise From Space.”

A NASA spokesperson told USA Today that the agency was “not able to definitively trace the image to an official NASA source.” Genuine pictures taken of sunsets from the ISS can be found on NASA’s website, such as this one taken in 2010 and this one from 2016.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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