Lunar Smiley Face???

Oh no… This is just ridiculous.

Do you think that it’s possible to see something like this in the sky?

guangming-ven-jup-moon
A cutting from a local newspaper reporting the conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the Moon on December 1. (I think the Moon may be from a real photo, but the two bright dots are definitely touch-up by some software.)

Oh man, that’s so wrong… (the correct one is here). Just imagine how many people are misled by this photograph…

The brighter part of the big “circle” is the crescent Moon, the part of the Moon that is lit by the Sun. The darker part is also part of the Moon, the part that is not lit by the Sun but instead is lit by the light reflected off the Earth – so it’s called “Earthshine”. The light reflected off our planet to lit up the Moon is sort of “second-hand light” – not straight from the Sun – that’s why is much dimmer compared to the crescent part lit directly by the Sun.

So, basically, the whole “circle” is the Moon.

Those two bright dots in the above photograph are supposed to be Venus and Jupiter. So now can you see why that photo is sooooooo wrong?

We all know that the Moon is the nearest astronomical object to us, and Venus and Jupiter are much much further away. So, is it possible for something further away appears in front of something nearer?

Of course not! So how could it be possible that the two bright dots that supposed to be Venus and Jupiter, that supposed to be much further away, visible in front of the Moon???

Oh man… I just don’t know what to say…

Newspapers are something that most of us read everyday and it’s read by thousands upon thousands of people in the country. If the media doesn’t care of getting some basic facts right, then just imagine how many wrong information and misconceptions get spread out to the public…

Moral of the story: Don’t believe everything you see or read… be it from newspapers, TV, internet, or even from textbook.  Be sceptical…

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~ by thChieh on December 1, 2008.

3 Responses to “Lunar Smiley Face???”

  1. this is so embarrassing…

  2. […] Read the story behind this fake picture and explanation here in MY DARK SKY. […]

  3. I guess in Malaysia, everything can be altered and cover up. i won’t be surprised if the media trying to alter a picture, or even fake a Blue colour Sun. LOL!
    Keep up the postings. This is a great blog.

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