Search this site:


September 10, 2003 11:31 PM

Broken: Blackout photo

This "photo" of the northeast U.S. blackout was passed widely around the Internet.

Unfortunately, it's a fake.

As described on this page, someone apparently grabbed an old satellite image from the NASA website, then used Photoshop to black out the appropriate part of the image. An easy but effective hoax.

The lesson: Don't trust anything you receive via e-mail unless you check the source online (i.e. via the Web address) - and don't forward it along to anyone else. If there's no Web address listed, don't trust what you see.


The picture is NOT a fake, but it was constructed from many separate images by the DMSP satellites.

See the Astronomy Picture of the Day entry here for more information:

As a side-node, even if this were a fake image, it does not fit the context of this site. This site is about things that are broken. If you want to discuss urban legends, see

Posted by: Josef at November 6, 2003 03:18 PM

Ok, I missed the point that it was a deriviative work composed to look like the northeast blackout.

But I still don't think this kind of discussion is appropriate to the context of this site. =)

Posted by: Josef at November 6, 2003 03:20 PM

How is this "broken" in any way? I'm guessing whoever sent this was merely trying to get in the contest.

Posted by: Saul at November 6, 2003 08:54 PM

Look at the big areas on darkness. Soo fake.

Posted by: blank at February 14, 2005 05:23 PM

being from massachusetts, i'd like to point out our state was not in a blackout, but the picture makes it apear so.

Posted by: andrew at May 22, 2005 02:50 PM



Posted by: PooOnYoo at May 26, 2005 07:32 PM

This picture no longer exists.

Posted by: Tyson Moore at November 15, 2005 05:06 PM

Comments on this entry are closed

Previous Posts: