FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show The Earth And The Sun ‘Caught In A Single Photo’?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 400 times purportedly shows Earth and the sun “caught in a single photo.”

Verdict: False

The image is an artist’s interpretation of a distant planet, Kepler-186f, and its star.

Fact Check:

The image shows what appears to be a photo from space of an Earth-like planet and a faraway star. “Earth and the sun caught in a single photo,” the caption reads. “It’s so beautiful.” (RELATED: Is This A NASA Satellite Image Of The Australian Wildfires?)

The image, however, is neither a photograph nor a depiction of Earth and the sun. Using a reverse image search, Check Your Fact traced the image back to an April 2014 press release published by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) titled, “NASA’s Kepler Discovers First Earth-Size Planet In The ‘Habitable Zone’ of Another Star.”

The image’s caption states “The artist’s concept depicts Kepler-186f , the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone.” The NASA press release describes how this newfound planet “resides in the Kepler-186 system, about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus.”

The concept image is credited to NASA, as well as the SETI Institute, a non-profit research organization focused on “life beyond Earth.” The image is also credited to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is managed by the California Institute of Technology.

In an email to Check Your Fact, Michele Johnson, director of the office of communications at NASA’s Ames Research Center, said, “The image looks remarkably similar to an artist’s concept of Kepler-186f. The artist’s concept of Kepler-186f is not a photo.”

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter