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Viral video showing a gigantic Moon eclipsing the Sun ‘in the Arctic’ is fake

Many users shared the 30-second video of the purported lunar eclipse, claiming it to have been shot in the Arctic between the territorial claims of Russia and Canada.

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New Delhi: A 30-second video, purportedly from the Arctic and showing a giant Moon eclipsing the Sun, went viral on social media Wednesday.

In the video, the Moon appears at a very close distance from the surface of the Earth, before eclipsing the Sun and causing a moment of darkness, and fades below the horizon.

Many users shared the video claiming it to have been shot in the Arctic between the territorial claims of Russia and Canada.

Inspector General of Odisha Police Amitabh Thakur also shared the video with his 27,000 followers, claiming it to be from the North Pole. While he has since deleted the post, it had been retweeted over 3,000 times and had nearly 10,000 likes.

On Wednesday night, people around the world were waiting for a cosmic event known as a super blood moon when a full lunar eclipse coincides with a supermoon — when the Moon appears brighter and closer to Earth. As the Moon moves fully into Earth’s shadow, it appears to turn red for about 15 minutes.

Fact check

The video appears to be an animation made by a user, Aleksey___nx, on TikTok. The artist also recently made a “UFO over the moon” video, which went viral and was shared by high profile users and media outlets.

​However, even without the source, it is easy to identify that the video is computer generated.​

The Moon has an average distance of 238,000 miles (382,900 km) to the Earth. However, its orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle and at times it is particularly close. At perigee — the closest point — the Moon comes as close as 225,623 miles (363,104 kilometers). At apogee — the farthest point — the Moon is 252,088 miles (405,696 km) away.

​During full moons or blood moons, many photographers zoom into the Moon against a distant object in the foreground, so that it appears bigger in comparison to buildings or trees. However, the angle in the current video appears to make it look close enough to nearby objects.

However, the Moon does not get as close to the Earth as displayed in the video, when viewed from such a close location without apparent zoom. In the clip, there is also no reflection of the Moon in the lake below.

​The Moon also appears too bright for it to also be visible when the Sun is out.

​It also does not rotate on its axis in the video, and as it passes the camera to the opposite side, the far side of the Moon is seemingly visible. This is not possible as the Moon is tidally locked to Earth, and we can only see one face of the Moon at all times.

Also, while the video is claimed to be from the Arctic region between the territorial claims of Russia and Canada, the grassland area seen in it suggests it is from a different terrain than the snowy Arctic.

In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer

Also read: Vaishakha Purnima coinciding with lunar eclipse this year recalls a 1400-yr-old battle

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