Fake New Year 2015

You may be seeing claims that this image shows Europe at midnight on New Year's Eve. It doesn't. It is a mosaic showing lighting changes from 1993-2003.

Faked satellite image
Not the view at midnight. CREDIT: NASA/NOAA

Ways to tell this pictures isn't what it claims:
  1. Time zones - The image covers over 4 time zones so "Europe" has midnight at different times not all at once.
  2. No clouds - The entire continent is rarely free of cloud, particularly in winter.
  3. Ireland - Ireland doesn't just have red fireworks.
  4. Fireworks at sea? - Highly-flammable North Sea oil rigs aren't the best setting for massive fireworks displays.

Although the image is not New Year's Eve, it does show something pretty interesting. It is a mosaic made by the US's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showing lighting changes between 1993 and 2003. The red areas are lights that are new in that period, blue areas are those that have reduced, and orange & yellow are areas of high intensity lighting that have got brighter.

Footnote: this post is a cut down version of my posts from 2014 and 2013.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Saturday 27th Dec 2014 (22:54 GMT) | Permalink
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