Indians on Sunday, 5 April, followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plea to stand in solidarity with the collective fight against coronavirus by switching off lights and lighting diyas, candles and flashlights at 9 pm for 9 minutes.
Atul Bhatkhalkar, who is the Maharashtra BJP General Secretary, shared an image of a map claiming that it is a satellite image of the number of people who lit diyas and candles on Sunday night.
Another user shared an image of another map, claiming that’s a ‘satellite view of India’.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The claim is false. While one image dates back to 2003, the other is from 2016.
NASA had in 2015 called out another fake claim associated with the map. The map actually dates back to 2003 which can be seen on the website of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The map actually reflects “Annual Composite of Night-time Lights from 2003”. The NOAA website also carried the colour-composite version of the map.
“That image, based on data from the Operational Linescan System flown on US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites, is a colour-composite created in 2003 by NOAA scientist Chris Elvidge to highlight population growth over time,” NASA’s Earth Observatory had stated.
We did a Google reverse search and found an India Today article published in 2017 with the headline: “India in 2012 vs 2016: NASA pictures shed light upon India and how it looks from space at night.”
The article stated how NASA had released pictures with two different visuals seen in the year 2016 and 2012.
In 2017, NASA had released a video that showed the same map with the title: “Lights of Human Activity Shine in NASA's Image of Earth at Night.”
The Quint had earlier debunked another map that was used to show sound waves in India recorded by NASA on the Janata Curfew day at 5:01 pm. But, the map was actually a heatwave map from 2019.
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