Monday, February 17, 2014

MAC Space Background Badly Photoshopped, Part 1/?

I recently started using a MAC at work, naturally I chose the background image which has something to do with space.

But the more I looked at it, the more it bugged me, I didn't know why - and then it hit me - it was totally faked. Those artsy people at Apple computers couldn't find a single real photograph to use from the universe of breathtaking space photography and so they made their own instead.

Here is what a moonrise from space looks like in real life. This photo was taken by an Expedition 29 crew member aboard the ISS.

Lets notice a few things about the MAC artistic interpretation of a moonrise from space:

  • The stars. Look at any of the photos that include earth or the moon from the apollo missions and you won't see any stars. Certainly not a fairy tale splattering of stars probably cut and pasted from a Disney movie.
  • The moon looks perfectly circular. When looking at the moon through the atmosphere it is going to look at least a little distorted. This happens on earth too so no big surprise there. The color should also change.
  • The sky is super blue.... not once you get to space; then the sky is black, it doesn't do that 'gradient' thing for very long.
  • The dark side of the moon is light. This isn't even that big of a deal compared to all the stars that are shining out there, but in real life you wouldn't see the light of earth's albedo on the shadowed side of the moon in the same picture that you see the full-on daytime sunlight on the adjacent side. This basically means that they took a photo of a full moon and randomly added some shading to it. I wouldn't be surprised if the angle is completely impossible (knowing the latitude of the earth photo would help to calculate that).
  • The whole picture looks too blue IMHO. Don't have anything scientific to say about it other than that.
  • The moon's proportions look off (a telephoto lens? Then the earth below would look more distorted).
To end, lets remember the time that Aryeh sent a balloon to the edge of space and took this picture. You don't need to be an astronaut to know what an earth/space boundary looks like.




7 comments:

  1. Yeah, I have that background. It's definitely fake, and so is their other space one.

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  2. The fact that there are no stars in the Apollo pictures why some people think they are fake. The connection between black sky and stars is so strong, the fake picture looks more real that the real picture to most people.

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    1. Wow that is kind of sad, you are probably right.

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  3. Update: Mac now also seems to have a new background of the Earth-Space transition that appears far more accurate. No stars, black sky. It's called "Earth Horizon" I never noticed it before the latest patch. Perhaps they listened?

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    1. oh cool! I looked it up, looks legit... maybe they didn't listen they were just feeling the pangs of inauthenticity

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  4. Another evidence: The face of the moon is the earth side of the moon. Which means the moon is only possible shot from the surface of the earth.

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    1. Since the distance between earth and moon is much longer. There will not be visible difference.

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