NASA’s Diwali image is a false claim and has become a ritual every year now. Read more


NASA has released the image of India during Diwali taken from its satellite yesterday.

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Diwali is the biggest festival celebrated in India. On that day, houses are lit with lights, crackers are burst and sweets are distributed to celebrate the festival.

The viral image is shared with the claim stating that NASA has released a picture of India shining with light at night on Diwali taken using a satellite. Every year on Diwali, this picture is posted on social media with similar claims can be seen here, here, and here. This image has been viral on the internet since 2014. One such post can be viewed here.

What’s the truth?

Using a simple Google reverse image process, we found out that the shared image is doing rounds on the internet as a ritual during every Diwali with the same caption. But in reality, the image in circulation is a hoax.

So the first question that comes up is what does the flashing light in the picture mean? The film is an overview of the scenes revealed about India’s growing population. India’s population has been increasing since independence. It can be known through the film that due to the increase in population in many places in India, the places where people live are increasing.

The white lights show the population of India before 1992. Blue lights indicate places that appeared in 1992, green lights appeared in 1998, and red lights indicate growing populations in 2003. Between 1992-2003 India’s population has increased. The colour composite was created by NOAA scientist Chris Elvidge in 2003. Diwali lights are, in fact, too miniscule to be photographed from space.

However, if someone wants to see the original night lights on Diwali don’t worry, NASA has one released on 12 November 2012.

According to NASA, “the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this night time view of southern Asia. The image is based on data collected by the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared. The image has been brightened to make the city lights easier to distinguish.”

Also, as per NASA, in reality, any extra light produced during Diwali is so subtle that it is likely imperceptible when observed from space. Even after all this in 2021 NASA has tweeted wishing everyone Diwali with the original image taken using a satellite.

Youturn published a Tamil article in 2017 mentioning that the viral image is not related Diwali. Some people blindly accept such fake news without any research and also forward it to many to create more confusion. So, we request our readers to be more vigilant since this image will come on top of the domain every year around Diwali.


Thus, we conclude that the image circulated doesn’t show India during Diwali night rather it’s a representation of composite colors used for the indication of the growing population.

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