On Sunday, fake images of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram Lander started circulating on social media after ISRO chief K Sivan said the space agency has located the lander on the lunar surface and is trying to establish contact.
Sivan said the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter managed to click a “thermal” image of the lander. This led to several people sharing random space exploration images claiming them to be that of the Vikram Lander. Jonathan O’Callaghan, a UK-based freelance journalist who writes on space and climate-change, said one of the widely shared images is of NASA’s Curiosity.
“Also just quickly, I’m seeing this image shared a lot too claiming it is the #VikramLander on the Moon. It is not, it is NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars,” he tweeted along with the accompanying picture.
The image, in fact, was taken from space on May 31, 2019 by the HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter where the Curiosity rover appears as a blue-ish speck.
— Jonathan O’Callaghan (@Astro_Jonny) September 8, 2019
Another picture that is being widely circulated as that of Vikram Lander is of NASA’s Apollo 16 lunar landing site.
As of now, ISRO has not shared any thermal image of the Vikram Lander either on its Twitter handle or on its official website. A thermal image is produced by capturing infrared radiations coming from an object and it uses temperature differences to map a picture rather than colour.