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What’s The Reality Of The Viral Fake NASA Diwali Photo?

Every year, on the occasion of Diwali, many in India invariably fall for a fake NASA image of how India looks from space during Diwali. The picture depicts India illuminated with lights and diyas. Despite being repeatedly debunked by various fact-checkers as a fake image, the image rises from obscurity every year to fool some more gullible believers in WhatsApp. This Diwali as well, the fake photo of India by NASA, resurfaced on the internet. But this time, it is a bit different, as the reality of the photo has also been revealed. So, today, let’s take a look at the reality of the photograph, which often goes viral on the internet.

One user shared the reality of this picture on X. Sharing the photo, he said that this picture is real, but its story is fake. This has nothing to do with Diwali night. Further, he explained his perspective vividly in the caption. He wrote, “Most of the lights here are not because of #crackers but because of street lights and other sources of lighting that we use. Though there would be a slight change in night lights because of increased lighting during Deepavali in homes and commercial enterprises, these are too small to be analysed or visualised at the scale below. Hence, this has nothing to do with #Deepavali was probably created for a different purpose, showing that some parts of South Asia had more lights than others in different time periods. So it is not a fake image but a wrong interpretation.”

The post was shared on November 12 and has garnered 194.9 K views on X.

Earlier, a similar type of photo went viral on social media. As per reports, the fake photo depicts how India looks from space during the festival of lights.

According to reports, NASA claims the photo is actually from the satellites of the US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). It shows population growth over time, with the help of city lights. Chris Elvidge, a scientist at NOAA, created the colour composite in 2003. Diwali lights are, in fact, too miniscule to be photographed from space.

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