Don’t Fall for This Fake Image of India During Diwali From Space

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The graphic above is a stunning image of India. However, in spite of the captions accompanying its many social shares today, it was not taken during Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. In fact, it’s not even a real photograph.

The image is actually a composite of satellite photos of India created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2003.

This isn’t the first time it has made the rounds on social media, either. It was rampantly shared on Facebook during Diwali last year with the caption “India at night during Diwali NASA.” According to USA Today, the original post was shared hundreds of thousands of times.

According to Chris Elvidge, a physical scientist at NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center, the composite was intended to show population growth over time. The white lights depict where populations were centered before 1992, while different colors are used to depict the movement of people.

Don’t fall for the hoax!

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