Astronaut’s tweet on ‘Gaza bombing’ just a dud, says professor

Professor Michael Harper’s corrected image (Photo credit: Courtesy)

A photo taken from space that purports to show Israel’s bombing in Gaza went viral Thursday, posted on dozens of Facebook pages and blogs, including the official blog of NASA, the US space agency. Just one problem – it’s not Gaza.

At first glance, the image appears to be nighttime explosions over the coastal strip. At second glance – one taken by Professor Michael Harper of Utah Valley University – the photo turns out to be not of Gaza being bombed, but of the lights of Tel Aviv. “I’ve been to Israel personally and know the geography — even when looking at the nighttime image,” Harper told The Times of Israel. “The story makes the statement that bombs and missile attacks can be seen. I refute that with the images I posted”…

My saddest photo yet. From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza & #Israel
— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) July 23, 2014