How to spot a deep space fake

Originally published at: How to spot a deep space fake | Boing Boing

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or as some are calling it, the Harriet Tubman Space Telescope

Wait, why? I understand some of the problematic issues with Webb, but why Harriet Tubman? Why not another notable astronomer?

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" […] these images are not photographs […] They are data visualizations!"

Correct. And fellow happy mutant @MrShiv does just that, and occasionally posts the stunning results in the Spaaaaace thread.


Every photograph is a data visualization.


Every photograph can be conceptualized as a data visualization. But that’s not how they exist as themselves or how they’re experienced .

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this isn’t significant at all for finding deep space fakes. there are plenty of telescopes with no central obstruction / secondary mirror vanes, and you won’t get diffraction spikes without those.

well, you can sometimes have small diffraction spikes from the sensor’s pixel array but again, there are many, many real astrophotography with no diffraction spikes.

basically this article tells you how to tell if an image was acquired with the JWST. lots of earthbound telescopes produce spikes like hubble, so the only other clue is the tiny field of view that hubble gives.

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JWST images are a lot closer to general photography than the data visualization that’s done with the radiotelescopes that I work on. They just undergo a spectral color remapping. Remember that image of the black hole in SagA*? That is data visualization.


… also, this quibble is not a matter of semantics

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