Space selfie?

This picture is often shared with title “Who agrees that this is the best ever selfie?” or “looking at earth from space”.


I tried to debunk the claim initially in August, because the picture does not appear to be a real photograph. Usual reverse image search tools (TinEye, Google, Bing, Yandex) didn’t give any reliable results. I found a CBS News article “Out-of-this-world astronaut selfies” which was actually just confusing.


CBS News article about this picture:

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti

Italian Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti sent the people of Macedonia a greeting from space on twitter with this selfie, 2014.

Cristoforetti began her mission on the International Space Station November 23, 2014.

CREDIT:Samantha Cristoforetti/ESA

I did not find such tweet by @AstroSamantha and this picture does not appear on her Flickr feed. It cannot be found from websites of ESA or NASA either. So I had to dismiss the CBS News article.

The astronaut in the picture is most likely Aki Hoshide: you can find a matching photo from Wikipedia (2012). PicPedant did some research this December and noticed that the “Selfie is pasted over a DMSP sat composite mapped onto a sphere“. But who made this composite?

It took some time to find the correct answer, because the reverse image search engines are not good at finding pictures in sites like Facebook and Instagram. This picture is digital art created by Robert Jahns (aka Nois7) with title “Happy Earth Day”. Robert Jahns is a photographer and digital artist known for his surreal photo manipulations. Check out his web page and Instagram account for more images.

This picture has been shared so many times without mentioning the artist that it is  difficult to locate the original. That CBS News article just makes the task more difficult.
See also: HoaxOfFame


  1. It is indeed Akihiko.
    The real ‘astronaut selfie’ photograph is from NASA, taken on 5th September 2012, by Expedition 32 flight engineer, Akihiko Hoshide of Japan, during his 6 and a half hour EVA.

    NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 32 flight engineer, is also visible in the original photograph.

    Camera was a Nikon D2Xs

    Earth at night photography is from NASA at

    some artist out there composited it altogether and the rest is social media history…


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