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Astrophotography fraudster. Surely?


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Hello, 

Not sure if 'fraudster' is the correct word as I don't believe he makes any money from this...

I came across a bloke on twitter who claims to have high resolution images of Pluto. I thought..surely not? Looked through his images and this changed to...not a chance!!

Please take a look for yourselves and comment. 

www.spacenow.com.br/gallery.html

He says he uses what he calls hidden micro image retrieval. Click on the 'HMIR' section and you can watch him 'processing' an image. 

Please...tell me I'm not going crazy. Some of them just look like famous nasa images reduced and photoshopped to look slightly different. 

Dan 

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I've seen that mountain on Pluto. I find that a blue filter and a bottle of Rioja is all that's needed!

I watched his instructional videos with awe, made a copy of his image and took his pioneering technique that one step further. Ladies and gentlemen, with no little fanfare I'd like to reveal to you th

The pictures (shape) of "Pluto" reminded me of something seen before... Uncanny resemblance to certain archaeological specimens... Coprolites.

Posted Images

Those images cannot be taken from earth. The one of Io supposedly was taken in 0.2 s exposure time. You could not get sufficient photons in such a short time. It is also curious that his Jupiter image appears to be low-res compared to Io. Makes no sense. My area of research is image processing and computer vision, and I know the state of the art in image reconstruction. Most of this looks evidently fake.

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HMIR means High Temperature Midwave Infrared  not what he claims.

If you search google for HMIR you find his site.  If you search google fo "HMIR -spacenow" (ie removing his site from the listings) you find nothing at all about his supposed technique!

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My guess is he's looking to  sell his software

I guess so, unless it is a joke of some kind. When in doubt, follow the money?

This is the best "image" we have of Pluto. It's a computer generated map from Hubble data, and it was only possible to get this level of resolution because it was eclipsed by Charon a number of times. Some more details here if anyone is interested.

Pluto_animiert_200px.gif

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I googled Hidden Micro Image retrieval also. Nothing.

If this was a legit technique there would be papers and such like.

Also 60s for Pluto is impressive. It's average mag is about 15. Need more than 60s to go as deep as that.

Angular size of Pluto is, based on size an semi major axis 0.04". To even resolve Pluto he would need to better the diffraction limit of his 14" by a factor of 8. His "Pluto" images show surface details, so this factor must be even larger.

Even the HST struggles with Pluto!

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One of the pages tells us that he has been able to identify a mountain on Pluto that is 473km high :eek:

ahh that mountain... the one with yellow and green spotted pigs flying round the summit?

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Looks like a "come on" for a scam to me.  Either they say they need money to pay for more processing when you've sent in your images, or they fake a few up for free and then offer to do more than one per month for a fee.  Something like that.

A little bit of maths demonstrates that it's clearly not possible.

James

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I'm copy-pasting this person's descriptions of Ceres and Pluto here, in case they are removed from the website. In 2015 his claims will be proven or disproven by Dawn and New Horizons.

"Measuring 950km in diameter, ex-asteroid, recently upgraded Dwarf Planet Ceres is the only such object in the inner Solar System. After many attempts, SPACENOW captured what we call "a perfect image" of this hitherto unknown object.

Ceres is thought to harbor an ocean of liquid water under its icy surface and SPACENOW identified a large Carbon dioxide ice or water ice/ snow field measuring approximately 285 km in length, adjacent to the left upper limb of the Dwarf Planet. Another smaller ice field, measuring approximately 143 km, is also present above the bigger one. Not a perfect sphere, sizeable elevations on the surface can also be be perceived."

"The colossal mountain on Pluto's equator is revealed here in astonishing detail (see storyboard for development phases).

From a jaw dropping 5 billion kilometer distance the HMIR technique was able to pinpoint individual rock formations, an odd Y-shaped summit and scattered ice or snow fields dotting the dwarf planet's bizarre surface.

The image also allows a more precise rough estimate of the mountain's height: 473Km. The base of the mountain measures aproximately 1022Km.

While documenting Pluto's full rotation Spacenow found out that at least two more sizeable planetary-scale mountains exist on Pluto. One at the Northern Pole and another in the same mid-latidude of the gigantic one.

These new discoveries will soon be exhibited here on the Pluto page."

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To be clear. This doesn't seem to be some sort of joke. Although it clearly is very strange...why do it? Edit: As others have said perhaps he charges people to "process" their images. I've asked on twitter if he can use this HMIR on other peoples images. 

This person encountered him before and wrote about it. 

http://darksapiens-en.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/astronomical-fraud-of-alberto-geyer.html

He said to me; "Too bad for you beginner. Keep trailing the cutting edge of astrophotography"

I'm quite proud to say I'm a beginner at astrophotography. Better than being an advanced liar. But it concerns me that his 1,471 followers really think he is at the cutting edge. 

This is his twitter. www.twitter.com/solarview   

I'm the @DR_longarms he's been corresponding with. 

Dan

Edited by long_arms
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Looks totally bogus to me. He/she has a 24 minute video of an image of Saturn being processed. The data is collected in CCDOPS (the SBIG software) and then there follows a whole rigmarole of "processing" done in Photoshop. You can follow the steps used, even though the PS is in Spanish or Portuguese, if you are familiar with PS. There's a shedload of contrast tweaks, curves and so on and it looks like all that is happening is that an artefact is getting blown up and exaggerated (which would explain the Pluto mountain"). It reminds me of when UFO/Bigfoot/Little Green Men "experts" take a crummy JPEG image from a screenshot of a Yourtube video and then "enhance" it to show proof of some rubbish.

rockymountainhigh_PLUTO.jpg

I don't think that Damian Peach has too much to worry about.....

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Definitely bogus.

Watch this video:

http://videolog.tv/545659

He takes an overexposed image and then fiddles with the contrast and brightness until the image pixelates to heck and back. Then into photoshop where it gets pulled all over the place to get what he thinks that it should look like. You can see at the 10 minute mark where he grabs the distorted Io image an warps it to make it vaguely disc shaped.

He also have a YT video that shows Canopus. All it is is a defocused star, taken through a badly collimated telescope.

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Love Kerry's suggestion on Rioja and blue filters - a real laugh after a long day!    And on the other hand, there may be some merit - on cloudy nights at least.

My lad asks me every week if New Horizons is nearly there yet - just another 18 months and all will be revealed (fingers firmly crossed) ;)

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I watched that Canopus video. Was he trying to say that was the actual surface? Wow. I thought I wonder what point he is trying to make here about seeing conditions. I never even thought he was suggesting that a defocussed image of a star was actually it's surface. Wow. Just wow.

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its also pretty amazing that he has managed to image the Great Dark Spot on Neptune. This was imaged by the Voyage probe in 1989, yet when the Hubble Space Telescope imaged it, it had disappeared. The spot returned in 1994 and was gone again in 1997

You can see the Voyager image here

Neptune.jpg

And the alleged fraudster's image here

onemoonsystem_NETUNO.jpg

Remarkably similar, no? Strange that the RAW data is corrupt on the website too....

Looks like NASA wasted their money too...here's the Hubble images (from here)

hs-1995-21-a-web_print.jpg

It looks like some bloke, with a 14" Meade and a copy of Photoshop can get better images than Hubble.... :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

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I watched his instructional videos with awe, made a copy of his image and took his pioneering technique that one step further. Ladies and gentlemen, with no little fanfare I'd like to reveal to you the true and genuine appearance of the dwarf planet Pluto.

11972043013_2c8a63af71_o.jpg

Edited by Knight of Clear Skies
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Ladies and gentlemen, with no little fanfare I'd like to reveal to you the true and genuine appearance of the dwarf planet Pluto.

Holy cow!  Some sort of warning would have been good.  I'm going to have nightmares.

James

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