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Is this fake ?

  1. Oct 23, 2008 #1
    I have this shooting star picture, and not sure if it's a fake. Have you got any ideas?
     

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    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
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  3. Oct 24, 2008 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    It looks to me like it is simply an extended time photograph of stars. It seems strange that all of the "trails" are the same length.
     
  4. Oct 24, 2008 #3

    Borek

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    Not only they are the same length, but they don't seem to be curved.
     
  5. Oct 24, 2008 #4

    DaveC426913

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    While there's no proof of such, this pic could easily be star trails:

    1] If the shot were oriented with camera directly toward the rising or setting horizon, then the trails would be straight and all the same length. This is even more true near the equator.

    2] Camera zoom and image cropping would create straight trails too.

    3] All the trails have the same "thickness pattern". This is easily explainable by intermittent cloud cover. Over the one-to-several hours the pics were taken, the cloud cover has waxed and waned, causing a general dimming and brightening of the trails.

    4] There are smudges of mist, but they are very indistinct, like clouds shot over a long period.

    5] The lighting is awfully funny. This is not uncharacteristic of long-exposure shots taken at night. The prominent light source is likely reflection of the moon off clouds or somesuch. Trees in foreground are very black - also much like night shots.
     
  6. Oct 24, 2008 #5
    It seems you all think it's star trails. If that's the case, howcome we still can see the moon light? And the trees..

    Some more info as claimed by the author(s): the picture is taken at around 4am and the moon was 3 day before new moon, which was expected for a meteor shower.
     
  7. Oct 24, 2008 #6

    Nabeshin

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    Well because it would have to be along exposure photograph things will show up that wouldn't if you were simply looking... So even a slight crescent moon will show up very bright when exposed for say five minutes or something like that.
     
  8. Oct 24, 2008 #7

    DaveC426913

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    No meteor shower would produce such a display. The trails are far too alike.

    As for the moonlight and trees, they are exactly as one would expect in a night shot. Why would we not be able to see moon light and trees?


    It's hard to describe. When you have a very dark shot, and you use a very long exposure, things that seem unlit turn out to have quite a glow when exposed for minutes or longer. Often, it's things that are lit far away that look odd - lit by distant city lights, well below our human threshold for perception. Whereas other things (often nearby have no light on them at all, making them black.

    Here're some long exposure night shots:
    http://www.resurgemus.com/archives/rushmore1.jpg
    http://static.flickr.com/39/105316889_9de5718992.jpg
    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/36/123501153_4fdbc969c8.jpg?v=0

    This one's very well known:
    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0409/kilistars_heller_full.jpg
    Forget the star trails, look at the other objects: the clouds, the general starlit ground.
     
  9. Oct 24, 2008 #8
    I agree that the trees (and other things on earth) can be seen. But the moon? after such a long exposal (according to the length of the beams), the moon (light) can not be like that. The shots you show me are all star trails, no doubt.
     
  10. Oct 24, 2008 #9

    russ_watters

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    I'm not so sure that's the moon - perhaps just skyglow from some lights on the ground nearby.

    The shot could also be a composite (which is fine) - there are some clouds that are pretty sharp.
     
  11. Oct 25, 2008 #10

    DaveC426913

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    I'm with russ: I don't think that's the moon. More likely clouds lit by moonlight.
     
  12. Oct 25, 2008 #11
    So I wrote '... moon (light) ..'. The shot was taken about 3 days before new moon so the moon is so thin and at 4am, it's position is somewhere close to the west horizon.
    According to Russ, the cloud is quite sharp so it can not be a star trails.
    It might be a composite, but we can not say for sure.
     
  13. Oct 25, 2008 #12

    russ_watters

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    3 days from new, the moon is so close to the sun, you'll have trouble seeing it just before sunrise. At 4 AM, it is well below the horizon.
    I didn't say it couldn't be star trails, in fact, I think it is. It could be a composite, but about that I am less sure.
     
  14. Oct 25, 2008 #13
    Oh I am wrong, the moon can not be that position. Probably it was the wrong day or it's not the moon.
     
  15. Oct 26, 2008 #14

    Redbelly98

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    From what I can tell, the trails are of different lengths and appearance. But, shouldn't shooting stars "originate" radially from a common point, rather than all being parallel?
     
  16. Oct 26, 2008 #15

    Borek

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    If it was something larger that was destroyed on entry, each part will give its own trail, parallel to others.
     
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