A computer-generated image of Earth that shows the transition from day to night over Western Europe and West Africa has been mistaken by social media users to be real.
The Earth image appears to be shot from a satellite position in space and shows a large shadow known as a “terminator line”, the sunset line that separates day from night (here).
But based on an archived 2003 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) article, seen here , the image is software generated. The organization cites the absence of clouds, the unusual color of objects, and the odd shaping of the terminator line - inconsistent with its typical arc or straight appearance in photos - as giveaways to the fabricated origin of the image.
Another NASA report, also from 2003, says the image is a digital composite that uses pictures from multiple satellites and ships (here). It is credited to The Living Earth Inc, an organization that uses a variety of data to create an Earth surface map (here).
Miscaptioned. The photo does not show the transition from day to night on Earth; the image is a digital composite.
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