APOD: Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah (2023 Nov 01)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah (2023 Nov 01)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Nov 02, 2023 1:40 pm

Astronomie-Québec wrote: Thu Nov 02, 2023 5:27 am It is pure shame that APOD publishes this image which is NOTHING like the true event. Nature is beautiful as it is; why fake it?

The problem with fake images is that the unknowing public sees them and thinks it may be the real thing. Then when they get to see the real thing in real instead of pictures, they are left disappointed and turn away from science because it’s not what they expected.

Publishing and sharing such images is THE WORST DISSERVICE ONE CAN DO TO SCIENCE. I’ve had my share of faked images. Is it so difficult for us to have the truth?
The image is not "faked". It is astronomical art, though. And APOD publishes astronomical art from time to time. It's not usually my favorite, but there's nothing wrong with that editorial decision.

The only problem with this particular APOD is that it's not clearly described as an artistic rendering. The way it is captioned makes it very easy for people to think that something similar to this could have been witnessed, which it clearly could not have. That is the failure here... not the image itself.
Chris

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whwiii
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Re: APOD: Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah (2023 Nov 01)

Post by whwiii » Thu Nov 02, 2023 2:49 pm

Ann wrote: Thu Nov 02, 2023 5:18 am I was delighted by this APOD, but many others have been very critical of it.

I must defend my enthusiasm...

Ann
your point is well taken
it is an inspiring picture
the objection most have is that it is presented as a real picture
i think a more accurate caption would have obviated the objections

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Re: APOD: Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah (2023 Nov 01)

Post by rcpettengill » Thu Nov 02, 2023 8:11 pm

I was shocked to see this poorly done collage as APOD. Almost everything shown is untrue to the event or impossible to capture with any equipment. It might be a reasonable entry for a crowd sourced fantasy fanzine cover, but I believe that including images like this on a NASA sponsored site, damages the credibility of NASA.

As an astronomy educator, questions about NASA faking images comes up more often than I would like. In the past I’ve been able to say that NASA does not fake images and explain limitations of astrophotography that may be confusing. A few NASA images are artists concepts when real images are not possible and are always clearly labeled. NASA photography is always real event data, but often enhanced to reveal details that would otherwise be invisible.

Works of fiction inspired by real events masquerading as a real event image image on a NASA.gov site, no matter how entertaining, damage the credibility of all NASA images as well as the NASA featured hard work of amateurs who work hard to capture the grounded truth of astronomical events in scientific, artistic, and beautiful ways.

After this, I’m not sure I can look at or recommend another APOD with any credibility again.

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Re: APOD: Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah (2023 Nov 01)

Post by stephenramsden » Thu Nov 02, 2023 8:17 pm

It’s also really amazing that this image is still up as an APOD, even after a dozen or so of the worlds best Astrophotographers (who have all been featured here before), have come out to say how utterly disgusted they are and dismayed that this website would publish such a fakery as this image.

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Re: APOD: Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah (2023 Nov 01)

Post by andyc » Fri Nov 03, 2023 12:24 am

I'm really disappointed that this one has been selected. It really takes away from what I thought to be the ethos of APOD, great science images (or visaulisations), plus topical and/or brilliant amateur images with educational value. This one is clearly heavily doctored in terms of the Moon being there at all (we all know that's not possible): for sheer pickiness, I have checked with SVS and planetarium software that the Moon is (a) rotated ~42degrees from how it crossed the Sun at Factory Butte, and (b) unsurprisingly has a different libration to 14th October 18:00UT (https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/moonp ... oup_313878). The Moon shows more of the north pole of the Moon tilted towards us in the APOD that actually on 14th October. Along with the 3x enlargement of the images it has lost any real science or educational value, and (though criteria are different here) would surely be thrown out of any astrophotography competition for elements in the image being as fake as a UFO.

I would assume that it is no coincidence that the Moon happens to be almost perfectly North up in all frames, as if the photographer just didn't even bother to rotate it to how it was during the eclipse, after copying it from elsewhere.

At the very very least the caption should clearly indicate that the Moon has been drawn in for 'educational' value (such as it is) and that both Sun and Moon have been greatly enlarged compared to the real sky. The Moon has not just been "brightened"!

But really, I don't think this belongs, compared to so many superb sequences of the eclipse that have been shared on the Sky FB page or in other submissions, and it devalues it for those of us who otherwise feel proud to have had images selected here.

astronorm

Re: APOD: Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah (2023 Nov 01)

Post by astronorm » Fri Nov 03, 2023 5:47 am

The beauty of a composite won't be taken away by being truthful about how it was made. So in the end, from an ethical standpoint we all have to look at it from the intention of the imager/artist - they erroneously declared "The Moon is real, but it is artificially brightened to enhance its outline" (plus other details pointed out that contradict with their published explanation).

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Re: APOD: Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah (2023 Nov 01)

Post by jfgout » Fri Nov 03, 2023 2:46 pm

astronorm wrote: Fri Nov 03, 2023 5:47 am The beauty of a composite won't be taken away by being truthful about how it was made. So in the end, from an ethical standpoint we all have to look at it from the intention of the imager/artist - they erroneously declared "The Moon is real, but it is artificially brightened to enhance its outline" (plus other details pointed out that contradict with their published explanation).
But the artist clearly indicated that her intention was to illustrate what happens during an eclipse and reveal what the eye can't see. Problem is: this is a terrible illustration for all reasons listed in previous messages. It accomplishes the exact opposite of the intention by giving a false idea of what an eclipse is.

I mean, the angular diameter of the Moon is EQUAL to that of the Sun in all the partial phases of this montage!!!! This was an annular eclipse, so if the artist did not even make the Moon slightly smaller than the Sun in the partial phases (she had to for the annular phase of course), one can seriously doubt that there was any educational intention behind this terrible montage.

jf

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Re: APOD: Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah (2023 Nov 01)

Post by owlice » Fri Nov 03, 2023 6:06 pm

I've read enough of the objections to this image and am sick of the incivility so have locked this topic.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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RJN
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Re: APOD: Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah (2023 Nov 01)

Post by RJN » Fri Nov 10, 2023 9:45 pm

The image has been updated to show the Moon only in silhouette. The explanation on the main NASA website has been accordingly update.

- RJN