The Blue Marble is CGI

The nonsensical argument goes as follows: The image of our beautiful home planet MUST be fake, because you would have to see the mountains from outer space. They are rather large after all. But how about we do some CGI of our own and put this bullshit to bed?

According to Wikipedia, Earth's equatorial Radius is 6378.137 km. For the argument's sake we round that up (as it would be even easier to see) and multiply that by 2. That gives us a diameter of 12758 km. We want to see that comfortably. So let's take a "photo" with a width of around 15000 km. Now, If we agree on one pixel having the width and height of exactly one kilometer and an outline of "earth" also being exactly 1 km (which we will ignore for reasons that will become clear shortly), this exercise becomes a walk in the park.

No cutting corners or some other stupid nonsense. Follow along precisely.

  • Open Photoshop
  • Create a new Image: 15000x15000 px, White Background, square pixels.
  • Create a new Layer
  • Go to the Shapes and select the Ellipse Tool
  • Set it to Shape, White fill, 1px black Stroke
  • Draw it anywhere and any size on the canvas
  • Go to its properties
  • Under transform unlock its proportions and set the width and height each to 12758 px and its position to 1000x1000 px - This will give you something somewhat like to the blue marble. Look at them side by side if you're unsure
  • Now we want that locked down, so right click the layer and rasterize it
  • To make measurement easy, pick a position on the outline on any of the following angles: 0°, 90°, 180°, 270°
  • Zoom in all the way to that point where the outline resembles a straight line... you know... kinda like a horizon. Make sure, you zoom in far enough you can see the pixel grid
  • Select the Brush tool and set it to 1px size, 100% hardness, 100% percent opacity, 100% flow, 0% smoothness, colour black
  • The highest mountain on earth is Mount Everest with a prominence of 8848.86 m. We will round that up to 9000m, so 9 km or 9 pixels
  • Paint in a mountain, that is exactly 9 pixels tall. I can be grossly out of shape and have a steep incline, so you can see it REALLY WELL. It doesn't really matter
  • Zoom out all the way, so you can see the whole image again
  • This alone should tell you something, but we want to hammer this point home with a jackhammer, so take out a magnifying glass. The largest one you have
  • Look at the "giant" 9 km mountain that you would CLEARLY see from outer space
  • Photoshop will possibly render the outline into subpixels, but our Mount Everproof will (pardon) rest comfortably inside it.
  • Now print the image at the largest possible resolution onto an A4 or letter sheet of paper
  • Hand that sheet to someone else
  • Have them flip and turn it a few times and then return it to you
  • See, if you can locate 1) the circle and 2) the mountain

If you found it: Good for you.

This is a print with a resolution on average over four times higher than standard 72 dpi screen resolution and the line is so fine, it doesn't even show up as black, because the printer doesn't know what to do with it. On said display, all of the circle is visible at 7% zoom. This means, "Mount Vanish" collapses to 0.63 of a pixel. The only reason, you can see it, is because this is a hard black and white image and the filled out area averages out to about one dark pixel. Now if you tell me, you can spot that on a photograph where the mountain fits into the scenery and is obscured by the atmosphere, you are straight up filled to the brim with shit.

Furthermore: One of the first systems that was able to edit graphics was the SuperPaint. It produced its first stable image in 1973. It had 311,040 bytes or (or 303,75 kiB) of memory and could do 8 bit (or 256 colours). There was no JPEG format in 1972. In order to retain all the details of The "Blue Marble" picture on Wikipedia, it needs to be saved at least at a 24 bit bitmap format. The file size then comes out as 26,368 kiB. That is 87.81 times its memory capacity and three times its bit depth handling capability.

Never play chess with a pigeon. It will knock over the pieces, shit on the board and make a face as if it's won.


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