By: Umme Kulsum
August 22 2023
The clip does not show actual footage of the moon's surface. It was created using 3D animation and has been wrongly linked to India's lunar mission.
As India gears up for the much-anticipated soft landing of its third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 on Wednesday on the moon's south polar region, numerous old, unrelated videos that appear to have been captured in space are circulating on social media. A 20-second clip showing the moon's surface is going viral with the claim that Chandrayaan-3 captured the visuals.
A post on X (formerly Twitter) shared the video (archive here) with the caption: "The visuals of the moon from Chandrayaan - 3 are simply Stunning! Can't Keep Calm, Save the date! Landing on South Pole of the Moon just 3 days away - 23rd Aug 1745pm Indian time. Also Praying for recovery of Russia's Luna 25!." The post also carried viral hashtags, '#Chandrayaan_3' and '#Luna25.' At the time of publishing, the post had over 400,500 views and 975 reposts. More such posts can be accessed here and here.
The viral video surfaced on social media just days after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shared visuals sent by Chandrayaan-3.of the Earth's only natural satellite.
(Source: X/@VishalVerma_9 Altered by Logically Facts)
However, this video is not of actual footage captured by India's latest lunar mission.
After conducting a reverse image search, Logically Facts found the same video on ShutterStock, a website that sells stock photos and videos. The clip's description read, "Textured surface of the moon close-up in motion. 3d animation. Elements of this image furnished by NASA." The website listed 'Flash Movie' as the video contributor.
We then found the same video on the website 'flashmovies.art.' The video title read, "Textured surface of the moon close-up in motion." The video description was the same as that mentioned on Shutterstock. The website's 'About Store' section included links to its social media accounts: the Twitter icon redirected us to an X account named 'Andrey Maslov.' The bio of this account read, "3D, CG, Motion Design." A glance through the website and its social media accounts shows that the website often publishes 3D animations and digital video art. This is another indication that the video used in the viral post is a 3D animation, and has nothing to do with Chandrayaan.
Comparison of screenshots from Shutterstock and the viral video (Source: Shutterstock, X/@VishalVerma_9)
An image similar to the visual of the moon captured in the viral video, when flipped horizontally, was also posted on i-Stock, another stock photo website, on December 3, 2020. Here too, 'FlashMovie' was credited for the visual.
A 3D animated video of the moon's surface is being shared online with the false claim that it depicts visuals sent by Chandrayaan-3.