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NASA Admits Photo Retouching


Conspiracy Debunked: NASA Photoshops Images for Good Reason ... Conspiracy theorists are abuzz over the revelation that a recent NASA photo was touched up before being released to the public. But this is not news, or evidence that the space agency has something to hide. NASA routinely processes raw images to enhance details, or to visualize things the human eye could never see, agency officials have said ... The controversy flared up last week, when a conspiracy theorist noticed black smudges on the edge of a photo NASA's Cassini spacecraft had taken of two Saturn moons, Titan and Dione. The allegation: someone had altered the image. And indeed someone had. Cassini's digital camera takes pictures through three different filters: red, blue and green. These separate, sequential images are later combined to create a composite, true-color photo. In the time that elapsed between the three photos, Dione moved slightly. To create the final picture, Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society, a nonprofit space advocacy organization, aligned the two moons, then Photoshopped in some missing bits of shadow. Scientists and technicians commonly do this sort of digital manipulation on space images, according to NASA officials. –

Dominant Social Theme: American bureaucracies are not generally in any sense dishonest, nor have they covered up anything of import. Government works, and big government works better.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Justen Robertson
Entered on:

If people aren't aware that NASA photoshops their publicity materials it's not for lack of transparency. Hell, show me an organization that *doesn't*. You think that's reality you're seeing in that magazine? Pfft. If it's not grainy, flat, a little blurry and poorly framed it's done by a professional, and if it's done by a professional it's been modified well beyond any degree of honest representation of reality.

Generally I am all for the sentiment in the article, but when it comes to complaining that media imagery is modified - that's just reality. The difference between big dumb government and the rest of the media world is that the rest of the world knows how to do it well enough that you don't notice.

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