The India “Diwali night” photograph – that wasn’t

I received this 5 times by email.

The picture purports to be from NASA of Diwali night as seen from space. (This year Diwali was on 13th November).

It is indeed from NASA, it is from space and it is at night. But it is not on a Diwali night and is actually a composite picture of night illumination over many years to try and show population increase. Even the colours are not real. It was circulated widely at this time last year as well. But as Robert Johnson of Business Insider points out:

The photo is an overlay of shots highlighting India’s burgeoning population over several years. The white lights were the only illumination visible before 1992. The blue lights appeared in 1992. The green lights in 1998. And the red lights appeared in 2003.

Current speculation suggests the lights are a result of the Hindu celebration Diwali, or the celebration of lights, held from mid-October to mid-November, but NASA was unable to confirm what time of year the shots were taken.

….¬†NASA says there are no more recent versions available.

India composite – image ngdc.noaa.gov

original image:

high res image

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One Response to “The India “Diwali night” photograph – that wasn’t”

  1. Diwali lights are not visible from space « The k2p blog Says:

    […] I have posted earlier about the composite image from 2003 but taken over many years and which has purported to be an image of India during Diwali but which was not. […]

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