Flim-Flammed

If you take a look at yesterday’s PHOTO Notes posting, you’ll see a stunning NASA photo of Africa, Europe and the Atlantic. Picture-perfect. Cloudless. You can see the bottoms of the ocean trenches, the city lights of Paris and Rome after dark, and much, much more.

Picture perfect. And here was the text from the internet version of this NASA photo, which is making the rounds on the email chains:

The photograph attached was taken by the crew on board the Columbia during its last mission, on a cloudless day.

How touching. This marvelous photo was given to us by those poor astronauts on their ill-fated final flight, before burning up like a meteor on re-entry.

Except for one thing. The photo is a NASA educational composite, put together from cloudless images and computer renderings. It’s still a remarkable image, but it’s fake. The stuff about the crew of the Columbia is a malicious lie. The guy who wrote that text should be taken out and shot. If I was Emperor, I’d pull the trigger.

I hate being flim-flammed. How could this happen? The source image(s) are obviously NASA; I never thought of fakery. Never trust internet email annotations.

You can find the real story(and the same image) at NASA:

http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/EarthObservatory/EO_Study_Is_this_Image_a_Photograph.htm

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