About one day after the original tweet misidentifying the moon as the sun was sent, NASA issued a correction stating that the bright object in Scott Kelly’s photo is the moon and not the sun. The space agency has since deleted the original tweet, but a screenshot is embedded below.
On Tuesday, NASA’s official Twitter account, which boasts 12.1 million followers, posted a photo taken by NASA astronaut and current year-long Space Station resident Scott Kellyclaiming that the sun and Earth can both be seen in the image.
However, some intrepid space fans on Twitter, including this reporter, pointed out that the bright shining object in the photo is not the sun, but is, in fact, the moon.
NASA has since deleted the tweet and issued a correction, but a screenshot of the tweet is embedded above.
It can be confusing to identify the sun versus the moon when seen in a photo taken from the Space Station, but one clear indicator of which is which are the stars in the sky seen surrounding the bright object.
The moon might look particularly star-like in these images because of the photo’s long exposure.
But hey, it’s alright, NASA. We all make mistakes. Especially on social media.
“Well, seeing as how stars and city lights at night are both visible in the field of view with the bright light source, it can’t possibly be the sun,” Emily Lakdawalla, planetary scientist and senior editor of The Planetary Society, told Mashable via Twitter DM.This isn’t the first time this has happened, either.