Mars Image That’s Too Good to Be True

Geek Culture

It’s not the real thing, baby.

You know this neat image of the Martian sky that’s been making the social media rounds, purportedly showing Earth, Venus, and Jupiter as luminescent dots in a Martian twilight? Yeah, well, it’s not real. Phil Plait, aka the “Bad Astronomer,” analyzes the image over on his blog, and gives use the run down on its fakery:

I knew right away it wasn’t legit, but it’s hard to say exactly how. I’ve run into this problem before; I have a lot of experience looking at space images, and you just get a sense of what’s real and what isn’t. This one screams fake. The landscape color is a bit too saturated for Mars. The sky the wrong color. The clouds are too numerous, the wrong color as well, and they have that “rendered by software” look to them.

Color us disappointed. With all the excitement over the Mars Curiosity rover landing, it’s understandable that something like this might slip into the mix, but I’d hate to see fakery detract from the awesome real science going on.

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