[FPSPACE] Chinese moon photo found to have been retouched

Peter Pesavento pjp961 at svol.net
Fri Dec 7 10:37:56 EST 2007




Excerpt from article below..




Posted: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 5:30 PM by Alan Boyle

Some dogged <http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001248/>  sleuthing by
a fellow space blogger has tracked down the truth behind the controversial
first photo from China's moon orbiter.

In the week since the picture was <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21976318/>
released amid much fanfare in Beijing, there have been widespread
<http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22072130/>  rumors that the photo was a fake,
copied from an old picture collected by a U.S. space probe.

The good news for the Chinese is that Planetary Society blogger Emily
Lakdawalla's clears them of outright fakery. The bad news is, she found
evidence that the photo was badly retouched for public release.

Lakdawalla's explanation would be embarrassing for Beijing, but it makes the
most sense as the solution to this week's moon photo mystery.

Lakdawalla began her investigation by plowing through databases of lunar
imagery and dredging up a U.S.-produced picture for comparison. It's not a
NASA picture, as reported by the rumor mill. Instead, it's one of the tens
of thousands of pictures taken by the Pentagon's Clementine lunar mapping
back in 1994.

The photo from China's Chang'e 1 orbiter is clearly a higher-resolution
view, with sunlight streaming from the northwest rather than the north.

"So the notion that China faked their lunar photo can be put to rest. (What
is it about the moon and conspiracy theories, anyway?)," Lakdawalla wrote.
"At least it certainly isn't a copy of the Clementine image; and it's
certainly not a Lunar Orbiter image, either."

Case closed? Not quite.

Lakdawalla found that a mistake was apparently made in stitching together
the 19 strips of imagery to produce the finished picture - and that Chinese
officials unknowingly pointed out that mistake as they defended the photo's

[more at webpage link]


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