October 10th, 2010
Since the beginning of the space program, the space images provided by NASA have been scrutinized by scientists and conspiracy researchers alike. Accusations of airbrushing of images where commonplace during the moon landings and the Apollo program, and continues today, but the airbrush has long been placed out to pasture. Adobe Photoshop is where its at nowadays!
The image above of Saturn's Moons Dione and Titan taken from the Cassini spacecraft, was unveiled to the world on NASA's Astronomy Picture Of The Day site, and on the surface it looks like just another cool space image, but the ever vigilant truth seeker digs a little deeper.
It was discovered that by adjusting the contrast of the picture, you can clearly see some brush strokes trying to hide something behind the moon in the foreground.
When questioned about this NASA's Emily Lakdawalla, who was responsible for the photoshopping, explained it over at Planetary.org:
Cassini takes color pictures by snapping three sequential photos through red, green, and blue filters. In the time that separated the three frames, Dione moved, so if I did a simple color composite I would be able to make Titan look right, but not Dione; or Dione look right, but not Titan. So I aligned Dione, cut it out, and then aligned Titan, and then had to account for the missing bits of shadow where the bits of Dione had been in two of the three channels.
Err sorry Emily, but I aint buying it. Oh wait, here's a simple solution to this delema, why not just release the original photograph so we can all compare. Surely this would put this little misundersting to bed, so to speak..?