The image has been circulating for several years.


Twitter screenshot

  • Earth, Venus and Jupiter seen from Mars?

    The image circulates on social networks.

  • As we had a slight doubt at

    20 Minutes

    (too good to be true, etc.), we asked specialists.

  • Their verdict?

    A "shady" image and a "fake".

It's beautiful, but it's wrong.

No, it is not an LV logo bag that you brought back from Ibiza, but an image that would show the Earth, Venus and Jupiter almost aligned from the planet Mars.

The image, which has been circulating for several years, has seen a resurgence in popularity as a fifth NASA robot, Perseverance, has landed for almost a week on the red planet (and this Tuesday, it even sent us real Martian sound).

Beware of colors.

- Twitter screenshot

20 Minutes

asked specialists to decipher this dubious image.


This is a "fake", rather "rude", explains Patrick Thollot, associate professor in Earth and universe sciences.

The sky, which appears cloudy and overcast, is doubtful, because “the sky is never overcast on Mars,” he emphasizes.

At most, a slight whitish veil of high altitude clouds may appear there.

With these clouds, the planets should be hidden, but they appear in the image.

Colors above ground

Assuming the sky is not overcast, that would mean it would be a dark, orange night sky.

However, “on Mars the night sky is black, as on Earth”.

These colors in the image assume that the clouds are illuminated by a light source.

“On Earth this often happens: the clouds are lit from below by the artificial lights of cities.

But of course, there is no light source at night on the surface of Mars, ”he recalls.

If we lower our eyes and observe the ground, the color of it is wrong.

“The ground is far too bright red, while that of Mars is an orange between brick and sand: this suggests that the ground, like the sky, has been artificially colored, explains Patrick Thollot.

We vaguely guess a ground that could be that photographed by an ancient Martian mission (Viking or Pathfinder), in degraded resolution.


NASA, strong in communication, would not have failed to relay such an image

Is such an alignment of these planets possible?

Theoretically, yes, advances Sandrine Guerlet, researcher at the CNRS in planetology, who considers the image "suspicious".

However, this has not happened recently, she stresses.

"This type of apparent connection, called" planetary conjunction "by astronomers, is relatively common, at least in one case of two planets at the same time, adds Patrick Thollot.

Having three close relatives is a bit rarer, and even more so for four or five planets!


Both stress that such an image, if it had been captured by one of the robots sent on a mission to Mars, would not have failed to be broadcast by NASA.

However, the American space agency has never published such an image.

Last disturbing detail, two letters in blue "NE", are visible at the bottom of the image.

According to the magazine


, they would be the abbreviation of "North East" and indicate that the image comes from planetarium software.

Mistrust therefore, and to see images of Mars - these authentic ones - go here.


Perseverance on Mars: Watch out for this video falsely attributed to the robot


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