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Author Topic: Is this picture fake?  (Read 6520 times)

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Is this picture fake?
« on: 03/06/2010 10:49:31 »


This is the volcano in Iceland, which I call "that volcano in Iceland with the unpronounceable name"

I found this picture on NASA's Astronomy picture of the day. They have a good reputation for not posting faked pictures but I have to wonder...

I know lightning happens when a volcano erupts like this but I thought the lightning would be confined to the ash cloud. You can see other bolts of lightning in the lower left part of the ash cloud but they are much smaller and a different color than the bolts lighting half the cloud.
« Last Edit: 03/06/2010 10:51:49 by Eric A. Taylor »


 

Offline LeeE

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #1 on: 03/06/2010 16:49:08 »
The photo looks ok to me, in that the lighting of the scene seems to be consistent with the location and size of the lightning bolt.  It also seems reasonable to get discharges between the top and bottom of the eruption column as the particles further up the column will have had more time to acquire a charge than those near the bottom, leading to a potential difference between the two regions.

And that's without even getting into the argument about why NASA should want to fake such a picture.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #2 on: 03/06/2010 19:18:05 »
One of the notable things about lightning is that it does exactly as it pleases. It doesn't seem to follow the "obvious" rules like the rule that it should strike the highest point.
 

Offline JimBob

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #3 on: 04/06/2010 00:17:51 »
It is most definitively not a fake.

The orange "bolts of lightening" in picture are actually ejecta, both molten lava and "volcanic bombs" from the volcano itself.
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #4 on: 04/06/2010 00:20:50 »

And that's without even getting into the argument about why NASA should want to fake such a picture.


Sorry wasn't clear. The picture is posted on a NASA web site. While most of the pictures there are NASA or ESA pictures (taken by space probes like Hubble.) many are submitted by other people. This is not a NASA picture.
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #5 on: 04/06/2010 00:24:31 »
It is most definitively not a fake.

The orange "bolts of lightening" in picture are actually ejecta, both molten lava and "volcanic bombs" from the volcano itself.

Look closely. There is defiantly lava seen in the picture. The mostly roundish orange blobs. Under the brightest orange blob is a long purplish line that is clearly lightning.
 

Offline JimBob

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #6 on: 04/06/2010 02:25:24 »
I do not contend there is no lightening. The purplish color is lightening. The orange lava or ejecta, even in the ash cloud.
 

Offline Geezer

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #7 on: 04/06/2010 03:01:26 »
Right. There is a load of volcanic activity (the orange stuff) which results in the electrical activity (the lightning).

Why is this surprising?
 

Offline RD

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #8 on: 04/06/2010 03:48:47 »
It is a long exposure image : from the star trails (see red arrows) the exposure must have been at least tens of seconds.



This combination of long exposure and split-second (lightning) flash lighting may account for it looking “fake”:
 it would not look like that to the naked eye, the orange lava-lit cloud and lightning-lit cloud are of similar brightness in the photo but in reality the difference in brightness would have been huge.
« Last Edit: 04/06/2010 04:03:05 by RD »
 

Offline JP

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #9 on: 04/06/2010 05:08:43 »
It looks similar to these pictures, which are apparently real:

http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/chaiten.asp

(Warning: you may experience popup ads at that link, especially if your name is Geezer.)
« Last Edit: 04/06/2010 06:09:27 by JP »
 

Offline RD

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #10 on: 04/06/2010 05:35:51 »
It looks similar to these pictures, which are apparently real:

http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/chaiten.asp


Again exposures long enough to record several lighning strokes on one image:
 so again is not how it would appear to the naked eye.
 

Offline Geezer

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #11 on: 04/06/2010 05:41:03 »
Yikes! I clicked on the Snopes link and was bombarded with popups.

Volcanos (and a lot of other things) propel charged particles at a distance from the Earth. If the dielectric breaks down, there is a discharge.

 

Offline JP

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #12 on: 04/06/2010 06:08:51 »
Yikes! I clicked on the Snopes link and was bombarded with popups.

That's annoying.  I don't get any in Chrome or Firefox...
 

Offline Geezer

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #13 on: 04/06/2010 06:22:55 »
Yikes! I clicked on the Snopes link and was bombarded with popups.

That's annoying.  I don't get any in Chrome or Firefox...

Well, woopdeedoo! I''m pleased to gknow you can be gnully recursive  ;D
 

Offline Mazurka

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #14 on: 04/06/2010 13:51:57 »

I found this picture on NASA's Astronomy picture of the day. They have a good reputation for not posting faked pictures but I have to wonder...

What about the moon landings? [:o)]
(shame there is no tin foil hat icon...)
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Is this picture fake?
« Reply #15 on: 05/06/2010 01:15:35 »
Picture seems real to me. Picture of lightning are a lot like the 18th century paintings of battles. In the battle you see lots and lots of stuff going on all at once. In reality all the events in the picture might take hours to transpire.

In the film Star Wars, when the Death Star shoots the planet, it blows up like a basket ball. In reality, if you shot an Earth sized planet with a ray powerful enough to blow the planet up, the explosion would take hours to transpired. It would be spectacular but very slow.
« Last Edit: 05/06/2010 01:20:03 by Eric A. Taylor »
 

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Is this picture fake?
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