After NASA released a “stunning” image of the United Kingdom captured by astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS), many criticized the photograph due to its very large size compared to other continents of the world.
According to NASA, the image was captured on February 26, 2019, at 9:25 in the morning, as the ISS traveled past the UK in low Earth orbit. The distance of the spacecraft from Earth was approximately 214 nautical miles away at the time, which was estimated to be the distance it takes to drive from central London to Manchester via the M40.
According to reports, the picture was taken using a Nikon D5 camera with a 17-35mm zoom lens through a window of the ISS, over the sea between Wales and Ireland. The resulting image reveals the U.K.’s diverse landscapes, from the rolling hills of the countryside to the bustling city lights of London, Manchester, and Glasgow.
The Northern Lights as seen, are a natural light display that occurs when charged particles from the sun enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Their presence in the photograph adds to the beauty and wonder of the image, providing a unique glimpse into one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena.
The ISS which has been in operation for over 20 years and has been home to 236 astronauts, including British ESA astronaut Major Tim Peake, who use the space station as a research laboratory. It orbits the Earth at an altitude of approximately 408 km (253 miles), completing one orbit every 90 minutes.
However, after the image was released, it was widely criticized as being a fake or photoshopped image and not a true photograph of the United Kingdom as seen from outer space.
Below are a few of the comments from people after reviewing the image:
Trevor Brown – This is impossible. From 300Kms to such vast curvature…..Earth must be really small
Brian Myles – British isles that taken up a quarter of the globe are you f in serious come on we’re not stupid are we?
Fredrik Nordrup – They can’t be this stupid. Someone is obviously trying to wake up humanity.
Anne Pleasants Newton – We’ve suddenly become a massive continent…mmmmmm
Diane Hall – Turn it around, lay it flat then it may look like the real Earth, but it is A beautiful painting.
Pierre HammarI – wonder why they cut the edges like a round globe. If the scale is like this, UK is like half globe.
Emmanuel Papadopoulos – Wow the United Kingdom is as big as Australia…hahaha lol it looks ridiculous
Desa Connolly – Anything from NASA is CGI. They have admitted as much
Dominic Kearns – I never realised the UK was bigger than continental Europe but I suppose you learn something new every day.