Fact Check: Is this a photo taken from Mars of Earth, Venus and Jupiter aligned together? Here is the truth…

International Misleading

Unusual sightings and rare planetary formations have always drawn the attention of social media users. Recently, a picture showing three white dots in an orange sky, claimed to be an image taken from the planet Mars went viral among many social media users. The heavenly bodies in the sky claimed to be the planets Earth, Venus and Jupiter in an alignment.

Fact Crescendo did a fact check about this unusual claim and found out that it was yet another hoax, where an illustration shared as a real sighting.

Social Media Claims:

A Facebook User Dan Beaman shared the below image on 24th of February with the caption “Earth, Venus, and Jupiter as seen from Mars”. 

Facebook Link | Archived Link

Many other Facebook users and pages have also shared the image with the same narration. You can see multiple posts sharing the same photo with the same narrative.

Fact Check 

First, we carried out a reverse image search of the viral image and that led us to a blogger Page called “riofriospacetime.blogspot.com ”. We found L. RIOFRIO uploaded this picture on July 07, 2010, with the caption, “Parade of Planets.”

riofriospacetime.blogspot.com| Archived Link

We did further research on the blogger L.Riofrio and came across her Facebook account. In her account, we found she had recently shared many independent fact check links regarding her Mars illustrations image, which had gone viral in social media. 

facebook.com | Archived Link

Upon further investigation, we found Astronomer Phil Plait debunked the photo in 2012, after finding telltale signs that it was likely to have created with the help of a planetarium computer software. Plait noted the symbol for northeast was visible in the lower left-hand corner – after adjusting the photo’s brightness and contrast – referring to cardinal directions such programs provide.

We found a screenshot of Venus, Jupiter and Earth (with Uranus in the background) as they would have been seen from Mars in July 2010. Taken by Rob Tilsley using SkySafari software. 

newsweek.com| Archived Link

Here is an article published by NASA on how Sunrise-Sunset would look like from Mars. 

Conclusion:

From our investigation, we can confirm that the viral image, which claims to be a view of Earth, Venus and Jupiter from Mars, is misleading. While a similar planetary formation is possible, the image is just an illustration generated by a planetarium simulation software, over a decade ago.

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Title:Is this a photo taken from Mars of Earth, Venus and Jupiter aligned together?

Fact Check By: Nelson Mani 

Result: Misleading

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