APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22) Retracted

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
tjugo
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Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22)

Postby tjugo » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:11 am

Julian, I think the damage control you are doing is the right way to go.

I hope the APOD community gets more skeptical from now on. There are many many celebrated DSO images that are processed to the point of painting stuff over them. This is a common practice and many well known authors never get questioned about it.

As a personal lesson, from now on I will post a couple of raw images along the fully processed image.

Cheers,

Jose

Tom Harradine

Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22)

Postby Tom Harradine » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:22 am

Julian Wessel wrote:Hello,<br abp="595">I just wanted to say that I'm very sorry about what happened the last days. My picture was a fake and a huge mistake. There is nothing that can apologize that. And I can understand the hate that is going on against me. It is my fault that I'm going through hard times now. I've deleted all pictures from my Website etc at which it wasn't clear where it's from and how they processed. I didn't want to disrespect or betray you at this point I had just my interests in mind. This is a shame I know.<br abp="596">But now I have to move on. <br abp="597">Pleace try to accept this apology.<br abp="598">Julian


Thank you Julian for your post. Can I ask that you put something similar at the top of your web page, at least for the while, and your FB page? A lot of people who saw the APOD or your image on other forums, as well as some of the fallout, will not see it here. Good luck for the future.

Tom

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Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22)

Postby AstroExeter » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:24 am

Well done Julian. To be honest, I think though that what you describe as "hate" is nothing more than genuine concern and puzzlement. I have not seen anyone being hateful towards you. You have owned up and recognized your error, now that should be the end of the matter. Good luck for the future.

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Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22)

Postby geckzilla » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:33 am

tjugo wrote:I hope the APOD community gets more skeptical from now on. There are many many celebrated DSO images that are processed to the point of painting stuff over them. This is a common practice and many well known authors never get questioned about it.

We are a skeptical bunch here. Well, mostly, anyway. (lol) As soon as I got up the day this went up (quite late in the day) and read the posts, I went to work to verify what had been said was true. I do this each time it happens. More often than not, I end up having to defend the artist or photographer involved because the assertions that this or that is fake don't pan out. I don't like fakes at APOD anymore than anyone else, but another thing I hate is for someone to try to drag someone's name through the mud. If it turns out we were actually wrong, then we can't undo that. So please do not mistake this slowness for total credulity.

I've seen some of the "painted" images... it's not something I approve of and when I do find them featured at APOD I have expressed my opinion on the matter. The editors are image experts in their own ways, but not any one person knows everything. I think it is very difficult to communicate this sort of frustration you must feel to someone who doesn't know exactly the things you know. Sometimes all we can do is note our opinions and move on to the next day.
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stephenramsden

Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22)

Postby stephenramsden » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:47 pm

Julian,

Apology accepted and let's all just try to forget about it.

Please continue to work on your imaging skills and maybe think about how incredible it is that you have the opportunity to watch and SHARE these remarkable events, as they actually occur, with people in your community and around the world that aren't as lucky as you are. No one can condemn you for falling into the silly competitive "imaging race" that is encouraged at most levels in this hobby as there are certainly a lot of people who have went down this road.

Entering this hobby from the angle of getting famous or making money is shortchanging the incredible life changing nature of what astronomy is really all about. The fame comes through patience and hard work, the "riches" come from inspiring a young person to do more than everyone else expects them to do after being inspired by your work. I promise you, that is the absolute biggest payback you can ever receive.

The people in this hobby that matter are the ones who get the most joy out of watching someone progress along the learning curve and go from newbie to excellent over a period of months or years. The best images anyone can share are those that relate the almost raw, actual views through the equipment and show the passion of the imager and the imperfect nature of the hobby.

The future off our species is in interplanetary/interstellar space and we are responsible for sharing this fantastic science and hobby to make that future possible... let's get to it!!

Stephen

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Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22)

Postby bystander » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:53 pm

So, About that Video of the Space Station Passing in Front of Saturn …
Slate Blogs | Bad Astronomy | Phil Plait | 2016 Jan 26
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

wtaskew

Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22)

Postby wtaskew » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:34 pm

that forgiveness may take time.

Tango

Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22) Retracted

Postby Tango » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:55 pm

I am not sure I would go so easy with this guy and with NASA. This is what I think about this situation and what I posted on a private group....
The question is, then, why he did this. Option #1: He did it to get attention, in which case I am not sure what to think about people now using astrophotography to seek attention. Option #2: Since he sells his photos he may have thought about getting free publicity to increase traffic and sales to his website (otherwise he could have well said from the very beginning that it was a fake... however, the value of his photos would be higher if this photo was a true one and because he had a photo selected as an APOD). Since, #1 and #2 are not exclusive reasons, probably, it was because of both reasons. However, the problem with #2 is that by submitting his photo to the APOD he showed a clear intent of benefiting from a fake image and, thus, his apology is not very believable. That is why I also think that we need to look into NASA because the action of this guy is on his own but by NASA posting it as an APOD contributed to this guy getting free publicity for a fake photo. This, in itself, is concerning and this is why I think NASA should issue a statement apologizing and explaining their vetting process for APODs. But the related issue is that NASA claims that the APOD includes "a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer." Now I am wondering who was the professional astronomer who wrote the caption of this photo and how do they explain having been part of what seems to be accomplices of what to me is a commercial malpractice by their lack of due diligence. I don't sell my photos, I do this because I like to do it and because I go through papers and professional publications to study and learn about the objects I am photographing. But for those that do sell their photos, don't you think what this guy did is an unfair competition and that NASA should apologize, too?

CindyP

Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22) Retracted

Postby CindyP » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:08 pm

Apology accepted!

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22) Retracted

Postby Chris Peterson » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:11 pm

Tango wrote:That is why I also think that we need to look into NASA because the action of this guy is on his own but by NASA posting it as an APOD contributed to this guy getting free publicity for a fake photo. This, in itself, is concerning and this is why I think NASA should issue a statement apologizing and explaining their vetting process for APODs. But the related issue is that NASA claims that the APOD includes "a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer." Now I am wondering who was the professional astronomer who wrote the caption of this photo and how do they explain having been part of what seems to be accomplices of what to me is a commercial malpractice by their lack of due diligence.

APOD is not a NASA project. It is the work of two astronomers, and NASA merely hosts the page. While there are occasional disagreements among members of this forum whether images have been processed in a way that is reasonable, cases of outright fraud have been vanishingly rare (indeed, I can't recall another example). Mistakes in the caption are occasionally identified, and when found are corrected. The astronomer editors know their stuff, but like all scientists, they are specialists, which means many of the images represent findings outside their own areas of study, and therefore minor errors might be missed. Those do tend to get picked up by others, given the large number of viewers. If the editors needed to submit every image to professional specialists for peer review, APOD would not exist. The image submission and vetting process is reasonably described elsewhere in this forum.

The person who submitted the fraudulent image has apologized and the image has been removed. Individuals are free to view that person however they want, but for APOD, I think the matter is resolved and in the past. If this incident reveals anything, it's that the system works and doesn't need to be changed. Neither the editors, nor NASA, owe anybody any apologies.
Chris

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Tango

Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22) Retracted

Postby Tango » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:22 pm

Chris, I understand your point but if NASA hosts the site then it is NASA responsibility. I don't think it is right to use US taxpayer money to host and, thus, support fraudulent image posting so although for some this is in the past I don't think this is a past issue because there is US taxpayer money involved. For this reason, this case could actually be a felony because someone may be benefiting economically from lying to someone representing a US taxpayer-supported agency so this image is posted on a site supported by US tax payers.

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Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22) Retracted

Postby Chris Peterson » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:29 pm

Tango wrote:Chris, I understand your point but if NASA hosts the site then it is NASA responsibility. I don't think it is right to use US taxpayer money to host and, thus, support fraudulent image posting so although for some this is in the past I don't think this is a past issue because there is US taxpayer money involved.

The site isn't hosting fraudulent material. A single case of fraud was detected, and the material retracted. End of story. No further action is required.

Very few of the images posted here are even amenable to having been fraudulently created. The few that are, as we have seen, are likely to be detected by outside viewers. It's a good system which is seen to work.
Chris

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AstroExeter
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Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22) Retracted

Postby AstroExeter » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:30 pm

I have edited the original post here as it has been suggested that someone is now using Julian Wessel's name to attack those who called him out on his deliberate fakery and that he is not responsible. I'm not sure who to believe in this matter but in the interest of fairness I will refrain from blaming him. That does not excuse his actions and to those saying he just made a mistake, I say this. Once is a mistake. Twice is deliberate but three times is dishonest. Many of us who spend hours and hours on our images and produce them legitimately are hurt by his actions. He deserves no sympathy other than to be ignored.
Last edited by AstroExeter on Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: ISS Transits Saturn (2016 Jan 22) Retracted

Postby Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:55 pm

I don't suppose they could change the title to: Wessel Transits APOD? :(

(A transit is the astronomical event that occurs when one [celestial] body appears to move across the face of another [celestial] body)
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