NASA puts out so much garbage it cannot keep track and blunders are more and more prevelant
Oh, NASA. That is not a picture of the sun from the International Space Station.
That’s a picture of the moon.
On Tuesday, NASA’s official Twitter account, which boasts 12.1 million followers, posted a photo taken by NASA astronaut and current year-long Space Station resident
Scott Kelly claiming that the sun and Earth can both be seen in the image.
However, some intrepid space fans on Twitter, including this reporter, pointed out that the bright shining object in the photo is not the sun, but is, in fact, the moon.
“Well, seeing as how stars and city lights at night are both visible in the field of view with the bright light source, it can’t possibly be the sun,” Emily Lakdawalla, planetary scientist and senior editor of The Planetary Society, told Mashable via Twitter DM.
This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. NASA also confused the moon and the sun in another photo Kelly posted to Twitter earlier this summer. The space agency mislabeled the moon as the sun while the Space Station flew above the western United States.
It can be confusing to identify the sun versus the moon when seen in a photo taken from the Space Station, but one clear indicator of which is which are the stars in the sky seen surrounding the bright object.
Basically, when the sun is out, you likely won’t be able to see any stars (even when hurtling through space), but when the moon is out, astronauts can likely see a multitude of stars in the sky.
The moon might look particularly star-like in these images because of the photo’s long exposure.