An image purportedly showing a sunset and a full moon perfectly aligned between two trees is a digitally-manipulated fake. While the photo appears to be out of this world, it is simply doctored to give the illusion that the setting sun and full moon are perfectly aligned.
According to Snopes, the Photoshopped image was widely circulated on social media after being shared on Facebook last month. “A German photograher [sic] had fixed 16 cameras to get this shot for which he had to wait for 62 days. See the moon and sun together,” the caption reads. “This can be only seen again in 2035. Enjoy the shot.” The photo has been shared more than 380,000 times.
The image, however, is not entirely real. It was created by Bess Hamiti and shared to 500px earlier this year under the “Fine Art” category, garnering nearly 12,000 views. The original photo of just the setting sun and trees was shared years before that, however—appearing on a Wikipedia page in 2012.
The digitally-manipulated image, which features the addition of a full moon, was shared on Hamiti’s Facebook page in November 2012. The same photo of the sunset and silhouetted trees appears to have been used to create another striking, yet not entirely real, image:
Oak kisses @bess_hamiti #autumn #sunlight #background #relaxation #relax #lifestyle #timing #tree #beautiful #horizon #foliage #outdoors #rural #instagram #instafollow #field #heaven #summer #spring #sky #clouds #bess_hamiti #lonely #lone #yellow #light #color #night #stars #kosovo @earthfocus @destination.earth @awesome.pix @awesome_earthpix
Additionally, it would be impossible to photograph both the sunset and a full moon in the same image because “the moon is exactly opposite the sun” during a full moon, according to Space.com:
At full moon, the moon is exactly opposite the sun. This means that the moon rises just as the sun is setting, and sets just as the sun is rising. This is also the only night in the month when a lunar eclipse can happen. Even so, eclipses normally happen only one full moon out of every six; the other times the Earth’s shadow is either too high or too low to touch the moon.
This is further explained on Cornell University’s “Ask An Astronomer” website:
You will almost never see the full moon and the Sun at the same time. The reason for this is that all the planets, Moon and the Sun lie in a plane in the sky called the ecliptic and this plane is tilted to the Earth’s equator by about 23.5 degrees. On full moon day, the Moon and the Sun are roughly (not exactly) on opposite sides of Earth.
The viral image featuring both the sunset and full moon perfectly aligned between two silhouetted trees is impossible to photograph. Only digital manipulation makes the beautiful scene possible.
Here are some examples of people sharing the Photoshopped image on social media:
Social Media Shares Fake Image of Sunset and Full Moon Between 2 Trees
— Bhawana Somaaya (@bhawanasomaaya) June 13, 2017
A photograher fixed 16 cameras and waited 62 days to get this shot. To see the moon and sun together next is in 2035. Beauty of nature. http://pic.twitter.com/mxy7t1lHQ7
— Mr.Altaf (@2ndcitystore) June 6, 2017
German photograher fixed 16 cameras 2get shot-he waited 62days.See the moon&sun 2gether.This can be only seen again in 2035. Enjoy the shot http://pic.twitter.com/DxyAqe5Kfb
— Tracy Moore (@tracymoore1013) June 5, 2017
A German photographer had fixed 16 cameras to get this shot for which he had to wait for 62 days. See the moon and sun together http://pic.twitter.com/uGcir5zr1H
— Arosa Mughal (@ArosaMughal) May 16, 2017
Have you seen the fake image of a sunset and a full moon between two trees circulating social media? Did you know that it was Photoshopped? Sound off in the comments section below!
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