NASA Saturn Photo Cover-up!

On October 7th a YouTuber named DominatorPS3 posted a video in which he showed an odd anomaly in a NASA photo taken from the Cassini Orbiter.  When the brightness was boosted on the photo evidence of manipulation seems to be visible.  One can see what appear like digital “brush strokes” in the shadow area behind the moon.  And rainbow halo behind it.

DominatorPS3 believes this was done to hide a large object.

Unfortunately, DominatorPS3 has deleted his original video.  He explains why here:

More on this controversy after the jump …

But here’s someone who has duplicated DominatorPS3’s results here:

The maniupulation is real.  DominatorPS3 really found something.  But the person responsible for the manipulation, Emily Lakdawalla, claims there is an innocent explanation.  Here’s what she says:

Cassini takes colour 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 …

Not everyone bought this explanation.  But that seems beside the point.  What seems relevant here is that a normal citizen pointed out manipulation in a NASA photo.  And he was right!

You can see the original image here.  And note that NASA offers no caveat about alteration of the image.  They refer to it as an “uncalibrated image”.  We think if NASA alters a photo, and then posts it on a government site, they should clearly state that the photo is manipulated and why.

Ms. Lackawalla is credited with the “color composite”.  But she clearly did more than just color compositing.  And that should have been stated.

One Response to “NASA Saturn Photo Cover-up!”

  1. We just noticed the original photo was posted on the dot-gov site on April 2oth. That’s Hitler’s birthday. Odd.

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