Keeping you current

Of Course Some People Think NASA’s Pluto Pictures Are Fake

Or at least doctored to exclude evidence of alien life.

Silly humans, Pluto is a dog, not a planet. (greentleaf/Flickr CC BY 2.0)
smithsonian.com

Last week the New Horizons probe got as up close and personal with Pluto as a robot made by Earthlings 3 billion miles away can get. On its historic flyby, the robotic probe took a few snapshots of the dwarf-planet’s moons and its surface, revealing previously unknown icy peaks and valleys.

Or did it? As with any historic moment of discovery, some think it’s all smoke and mirrors, as Matt Novak reports for Gizmodo. Soon after the news of New Horizon’s success conspiracy theorists and “truthers” took to social media and online message boards to voice their skepticism as to the validity of the images taken by the probe.

Novak provides some highlights from skeptic-town: Some believe Pluto is really a Burbank soundstage or an invention of the Illuminati. Others acknowledge that the dwarf planet exists, but insist that NASA photoshopped the images to exclude all of the structures built by aliens on Pluto’s surface.

Sure, building a really expensive robot and then pretending to send it into space seems like a rather elaborate ruse. But, if you believe a Moon landing can be faked, perhaps it’s not a giant leap. (And those who photoshopped Disney characters and menacing Star Wars space stations onto Pluto’s surface aren’t helping matters.)

And just for the record, like Novak and his colleagues at Gizmodo, we gullible fools here at Smart News also believe New Horizons’ Pluto images to be the real deal.

About Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson

Helen Thompson writes about science and culture for Smithsonian. She's previously written for NPR, National Geographic News, Nature and others.

Read more from this author |
Tags

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus