Is the viral astronaut selfie from space original? No, it’s an edited one.

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A selfie of an astronaut is doing rounds on social media, particularly on the micro-blogging site Twitter with a caption that reads – “Best selfie EVER!!!!”

 

Claim:

The viral photo has left netizens awestruck and is being circulated on social media with the claim that it is a real selfie taken by an astronaut in space.

 

Twitter

The viral selfie has taken Twitter by storm, and Twitterati are tweeting and sharing the selfie with a lot of enthusiasm.

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A Twitter user with the Twitter handle ‘@OrgPhysics‘ tweeted the viral selfie and captioned it as – “Best selfie EVER!!!!”

While writing this news report, his tweet had garnered a whopping 16 thousand likes, more than two thousand retweets, and more than two hundred quote tweets.

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The viral selfie was also tweeted from some of the verified Twitter handles. A verified Twitter user with the handle ‘@JuleykaLantigua‘ quote tweeted the viral selfie –

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The viral selfie was also retweeted by many Indians, some of them can be viewed below –

 

(Photo: Twitter/Screenshot)
(Photo: Twitter/Screenshot)

Another Twitter user ‘@BO_sci‘ with over six thousand followers tweeted the viral selfie –

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Facebook

 

 

Truth

The viral selfie, being circulated with the claim that it is a real selfie of an astronaut in space is misleading. It is a digitally edited image.

(Photo: NASA/Screenshot)

We ran a reverse image search and found the original image on one of NASA’s official pages titled “Astronomy Picture of the Day.” The image is titled “Orbiting Astronaut Self-Portrait.” According to the description available on the page, Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide recorded it while helping to augment the capabilities of the Earth-orbiting International Space Stationย (ISS).

 

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After learning that the image is of a Japanese astronaut, we also looked up Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s(JAXA) Facebook profile in search for the same image and used a tool called, ‘Who posted what.’ With the help of ‘Who posted what,’ we could locate the original image in seconds and did not have to spend hours looking at all the photos manually.

 

 

Now, it was certain that someone had put a different background to add an ‘awe effect’ to the image. So, we cropped the background from the viral image and ran a reverse image search, and located the background image on NASA’s official website.

 

 

We also found a video titled “Earth at Night” on one of NASA’s official Youtube channels ‘NASA Goddard,’ the video also contains the background picture used in the viral image. Hence, we were able to conclude that the viral image is a ‘composite photograph’ (a photograph made by combining two or more original images) made by using astronaut Aki Hoshide’s ‘Orbiting Astronaut Self-Portrait’ and ‘Earth’s City Lights’ image available on NASA’s official website.

 

During our investigation, we also found the original image of Aki Hoshide’s ‘Orbiting Astronaut Self-Portrait’ on several websites. All of them have credited the image to NASA. They can be viewed hereย  here here

 

 

 

Rupesh Kumar

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Rupesh Kumar

A Journalism student at Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, who writes out of sheer avidity and has a nose for news, seeking to leverage skills to contribute to high-quality journalism.