Will India Ever Not Fall For The Fake Diwali Image From Space?

It happened again.

2 min read
The evergreen fake photo of India during Diwali is back.

If we look back in history to find out the biggest fake stories that have been circulated among Indians, there’s only one that can top the theory that Ricky Ponting had a spring attached to his bat in ICC World Cup 2003 Final, and that is the so-called satellite image of the Indian sub-continent taken on Diwali night by NASA.

Just like Diwali is incomplete without buying new clothes, playing cards with your family and lighting up the house, it is also incomplete, in the age of social media, without someone, year after year, sharing this fake image.


No matter what time of the year it is, this image, like the Terminator, has 500 per cent chances of getting surfaced again on social media timelines, even after being busted by numerous news outlets umpteen number of times.

But Is There a Real Image? Yes

The picture, which drew first blood of it naive victims back in 2012, is not even a photograph. It was created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2003 to show change in illumination over India from 1992-2003.

Other than your Kanpur-wali mausi who sends too many WhatsApp forwards, one of the all-time greats to fall for this image is cricketer Virender Sehwag.

However, in 2012, NASA actually released black and white satellite images of India on Diwali night.

“On 23 November 2012, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this nighttime view of southern Asia,” NASA had said releasing the picture.

Image released by NASA Earth Observatory on 5 December 2012 that shows India during Diwali celebrations.
Image released by NASA Earth Observatory on 5 December 2012 that shows India during Diwali celebrations.
(Photo: NASA)

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