Images of Saturn and Jupiter are real, taken from the Massachusetts Telescope

Claim: The image shows the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter

The viral photo shared on Facebook purports to show the rapprochement between Jupiter and Saturn, as the two planets appeared closer to each other than they had been for centuries.

“The best image I have seen of the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn is taken from an observatory in Chile,” this was reported on December 23 on Facebook. Mail With more than 700 shares. The text accompanies an alleged image of the phenomenon which is credited with gm_astrophotography.

USA TODAY reached out to Facebook user and gm_astrophotography Instagram account for the comment.

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A special effect has been added to the image

Gm_astrophotography account originally Mutual The photo is on December 21st and provided an explanation.

The calculation was written along with a series of images from the pairing: “This is what the coupling through a small 72 mm refractor telescope looks like.” “Note the colorful deflection heights coming from the planets. They are unique in the fact that refraction spikes can vary depending on the shape and size of the planet!”

Diffraction spurts in star photography are “artifacts” that appear on brighter photos of stars as light rays pass through an obstacle on the camera lens and are curved, causing the light to scatter to take a better picture of the sky, according to Photographic space. Otherwise said, in the form of a star or a planet, they are straight rays of light that point four directions from the body.

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People are shaded in front of the sky at dusk as they watch the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter, Monday, December 21, 2020, in Edgerton, Cannes.

The Instagram user explained that the image of the pairing of Saturn and Jupiter of each was taken with prominent nails using tape and rubber bands stretched across the front of the refractor in a symmetrical pattern from a regular cross to add “a little something extra to the photo.”

The account holder added in the comments that the photo was taken in Massachusetts – not at an observatory in Chile, as the Facebook user claimed.

What is pairing?

The last time Jupiter and Saturn approached this close was in 1623. The conjunction peaked on December 21, however, the planets appeared closer than the diameter of the full moon until December 25. Reported by USA TODAY.

The two planets were already close to each other during 2020, and while the gas giants appear to be close, they are still millions of miles away in space reality, according to Night Sky Network.

“The alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this pairing is extremely rare because of how close the planets are to each other,” said Rice University astronomer Patrick Hartigan.Tell USA TODAY Advance in this month.

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Our assessment: Correct

The image that claims to show the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is real, labeled as TRUE, based on our research. The photo shows the synchronization at the height of the night; The photographic technique using a symmetrical pattern adds a special effect to the image. Photo taken from Massachusetts. Claims that the photo was taken at an observatory in Chile are partly false.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact Check: Photos of Saturn and Jupiter with special effect are real

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