Fact check: Photo does not show actual image of Earth, Venus and Jupiter as seen from Mars but an illustration 

Social media users have been sharing an image online that claims to show Earth, Venus and Jupiter in a red sky as seen from Mars. This image is an illustration rendered digitally, not an actual photograph from Mars.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples can be seen  here , here , here  and  here  , with some posts attributing the photograph to NASA.  

Based on Google reverse image search, it appears that the image first appeared in August 2012.

Astronomer Phil Plait wrote an article in Slate’s “Bad Astronomy” blog  here  on Aug. 10, 2012 debunking the photo. Plait points out that the image immediately looks fake with the landscape being too saturated, the sky being the wrong color with too many clouds and having a “rendered by software” look.  

He concludes that the letters “NE” visible on the bottom left corner are a giveaway the image was created using planetarium software such as Starry Night or SkySafari, used to display the sky from other planets.

Snopes traced the image to a blog  here  where it was posted originally on July 15, 2010 (here ). 

A variation of the image was posted earlier on June 29, 2010  here  , on the same blog. 

Louise Riofrio, the author of the blog, confirmed to Reuters via email that although she does not remember which program she used, she is the creator of the illustration.

Riofrio explained that she was working as a scientist at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston at the time, assisting “the researchers who in 1996 discovered signs of fossil life on Martian Meteorite ALH84001.”

Actual photographs released by NASA showing the skyline from Mars look different to the photograph in the claim. This can be seen in a 2014 photo showing Earth  here , a 2014 photo showing Earth and the Moon  here  and a 2020 photo showing Earth and Venus  here  . 


Miscaptioned. The image shows a planetarium software rendering of what Earth, Venus and Jupiter would look like from Mars. It is not an actual photograph released by NASA.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .