Politics

FACT CHECK: No, NASA Photos Of Mars Do Not Actually Show Rocky Terrain In Canada

A video shared on Instagram allegedly shows proof that photos of Mars were actually taken at Devon Island in Canada. 

Verdict: False

Devon Island is similar in terrain and climate to Mars and is being explored for research, but was not used to falsify images.

Fact Check: 

NASA is taking applications for volunteers who would spend a year in a Mars simulation before exploration of the planet is expected to kickstart in the 2030s, according to The Independent. Volunteers would live in a 3D printed, 1,700sqft environment in Houston, Texas to simulate life on the planet, the outlet reported.

The post claims photos taken of Mars are actually just photoshopped images of Devon Island, Canada. He presents three sets of images, each having a version with a red sky and a version with a blue sky. He then shows a video of Google Maps street view of Devon Island, which shows a truck labeled “Haughton Mars Project.”

This claim is inaccurate, however. Devon Island is similar in terrain and climate to Mars, according to NASA’s website. The island is home to the Haughton Mars Project, not Mars as the man in the video claims. The project aims to conduct research to facilitate new technologies and strategies for space travel.

Furthermore, one of the photos appears on the NASA website for Mars exploration in 2004. It shows the “Columbia Hills” on Mars. Another set of photos, showing one with a reddish sky and one with a blue sky, were posted to Daily Mail. Its caption reads, in part, “(Mars’) initial images revealed what appeared to be a blue sky (right), but in reality Nasa says the planet has a red/orange sky.”

The article adds, “Nasa claims the sky appeared blue in the first Martian images because Viking’s filtered photographs still had to be calibrated with the right colour balance.” This would account for the difference in colors.

There are no credible news reports to corroborate the claim.  (RELATED: No, Video Does Not Show An Astronaut Faking Being In Space)

Check Your Fact has reached out to a NASA spokesperson for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received. 


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