Earth, Sun, and Moon in One Frame During Eclipse? Not Quite.

Misleading Space

Subscribe to our WhatsApp Channel

On April 8, a total solar eclipse occurred in North America, sparking numerous discussions on social media. However, some posts are misleading amidst the chatter, potentially spreading inaccurate information about the event.

Social Media Posts

A captivating image circulating on social media supposedly depicts a total eclipse. It showcases the Earth, Sun, and Moon in the same frame, with the Moon’s shadow dramatically draping across our planet’s surface. The Milky Way galaxy adds a mesmerizing touch, appearing as a luminous band in the background. 

Facebook | Archived 

However, this image is not what it seems. Let’s delve deeper and separate fact from fiction.

Fact Check 

The Implausibility:

The first clue lies in the very composition of the image. It’s difficult or impossible to take a photo from space depicting all the sun, Moon, Moon’s shadow, and Earth in one frame. 

Reverse Image Search:

Modern tools like reverse image searches come in handy for such situations. Running this image through a search engine reveals that the viral image is not a recent photograph from space but a creative work of digital art published on DeviantArt in 2009. While aesthetically pleasing, it doesn’t represent an actual celestial event.

Deviant Art | Archived 

Authentic Eclipse Footage:

Actual footage of total eclipses, captured from the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting Earth, paints a different picture. Due to the vast distance between the Sun, Moon, and Earth, all three celestial bodies wouldn’t be visible in the same frame from the ISS perspective. What astronauts and cameras aboard the ISS do capture, however, is the dramatic sight of the Moon’s shadow sweeping across the Earth’s surface during a total eclipse. These visuals are awe-inspiring, but they lack the artistic embellishments of the viral image.

Usually, a black spot (shadow of the Moon) moving across the Earth is seen here. More details can be read here. Some photos of the space at previous eclipse occasions can be seen here

The Milky Way’s Placement:

The presence of the Milky Way galaxy (The galaxy where Earth also belongs) in the image adds another layer of inaccuracy. From our perspective on Earth, the Milky Way appears as a band stretching across the night sky. However, from the vantage point of the supposed view in the viral image, the Milky Way wouldn’t be readily visible as portrayed there. Here is an actual image of the Milky Way taken by a NASA astronaut while staying on ISS, and it’s clear that the Milky Way’s appearance differs from the viral image.  

The Power of Fact-Checking:

This viral image serves as a reminder of the importance of fact-checking, especially with captivating visuals circulating online. Simple tools like reverse image searches and a basic understanding of celestial mechanics can help us discern real astronomical phenomena from artistic interpretations.

A fact check done by Snopes over the same image sometime back can be read here.

Also Read:  You CANNOT See The April 8th Solar Eclipse From Sri Lanka! Don’t Be Eclipsed by Misinformation!

Follow us and stay up to date with our latest fact checks.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google News | TikTok 


The image of the Earth, Sun, and Moon in one frame with a prominent Milky Way is a work of artistic expression, not a depiction of an actual eclipse. Real footage of eclipses from space offers a different yet equally stunning view, showcasing the Moon’s shadow on Earth. By being critical information consumers, we can appreciate both artistic creations and the wonders of our universe as captured by science.


Title:Earth, Sun, and Moon in One Frame During Eclipse? Not Quite.

Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: Misleading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *