A purported image of the Himalayas taken from the International Space Center is viral on social media.
Several users shared the image with the caption: "The Himalayas from the International Space Station. Awesome."
The claim that the image shows the view of Himalayan range from the International Space station is FALSE.
When we searched for the image, we found that the image is NOT original but has been digitally created by an artist named Christoph Hormann. When searched using Google Reverse image search, we found the image on pixels.com.
The description of the image states Himalaya, 3D computer artwork, viewed at an altitude of 39 kilometers. In the foreground is Kanchenjunga, which, at 8586 meters high, is the third tallest in the world. In the background is Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain at 8844 meters high.
To the left, there is a green region of lower Nepal and northern India and to the right, there are high plains of Tibet. This image was created by Christoph Hormann using data obtained from satellites such as Landsat and SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission). The data was processed into computer models using three-dimensional rendering software and then colored and distorted to mimic the natural curvature of the Earth.
When we searched for Christoph Hormann's works, we found the website imagico.de, where he explains that all the images shared on the websites maintained by him are digitally created using different 3D computer graphics.
The website also states that the collection of large scale 3d visualizations of the earth surface he created can be found on the Views of the Earth website.
The image of the Himalayas can be found on the 'Views of earth' website which shows snow-covered mountains to wide sand deserts – our planet offers us manifold impressions of colors and forms on its surface.
We found the image named 'The Himalaya in Nepal' on http://earth.imagico.de/
The technical page of the website explains that the images have been generated with a method completely different from the one used by programs like Google Earth or NASA World Wind. This technique (raytracing) allows higher quality and more realistic renderings and also can be used to produce much larger and more detailed views as demonstrated by the 5 Gigapixel image.
More information about the technology used by Christoph Hormann to create these images can be found here.
We also found the image on the website science photo library under 3D computer artwork.
Therefore, the viral is NOT taken from the International Space Station. It has been digitally created using 3D computer graphics by Christoph Hormann. So, the claim is FALSE.