That Viral 'Photo' of Today's Solar Eclipse? Totally Not Real

By Matt Hill on at

The sharing of the above image, supposedly a snap of today's solar eclipse from the International Space Station, seems to go on and on. Ah, it seemed a more innocent time back at 9am this morning when Giz reader Sam Watts pointed out the DeviantArt source to it all.

Bravo R.Takeshige/A4size for the stellar work – and fooling half of Twitter. And people continue to be fooled.

Interestingly, we posted Sam's debunking of it straight after the original image, yet so many people kept retweeting the original, perhaps wanting to believe in its Photoshop perfection. Telegraph science editor Sarah Knapton analyses it in more detail here, but we'll leave it to our pals at io9 to explain more of how you can tell it's fake:

First, the Milky Way Galaxy, so conveniently located above the Earth's horizon line, cannot be seen with such clarity, even from low orbit.

Secondly, and perhaps more obviously, if the Moon and Sun were in this particular alignment, then it wouldn't have appeared as an eclipse on Earth! In fact, as witnessed by this spectacular shot taken by French astronaut Jean-Pierre Haignere aboard the Russian Mir space station in 1999, the shadow of the moon should have been visible on Earth (in this case, over Britain and France). According to Haignere, the shadow of the moon measured about 93 miles (150km).

Photograph: CNES/Jean-Pierre Haignere/EPA.

All very informative. Although we're still laughing at The Mirror's eclipse viral, to be honest…