Puerto Rico is currently experiencing a massive blackout. 1.5 million homes without electricity. There is a meme circulating with the satelittes of the carribbean before and during the blackout.

However, the skeptic in me things it might be a fake. And is there any way to re-produce this image?

The blackout is obviously real and I hope they are well.

closed as off-topic by Midavalo, blah238, PolyGeo Sep 22 '16 at 23:30

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  • do you mean the lower image? looks like PR is just removed from the picture, it would be difficult to get two very same pictures day by day (with PR blacked out in the other one). – adamczi Sep 22 '16 at 14:22
  • @adamczi especially the second one, that is circulating around Twitter. – john mangual Sep 22 '16 at 14:23
  • Google it and here it shows me wsj.com/articles/… – PROBERT Sep 22 '16 at 14:31
  • 4
    The Skeptics Stack Exchange site is likely a better place for this question. If you want my opinion though, it's very obviously a fake. – blah238 Sep 22 '16 at 19:52
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not GIS related - possibly belongs on Skeptics Stack Exchange – Midavalo Sep 22 '16 at 22:21

NASA's "Black Marble" is not one satellite image, but a mosaic gathered over several weeks and heavily edited:

The data was acquired over nine days in April 2012 and thirteen days in October 2012. It took satellite 312 orbits and 2.5 terabytes of data to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth's land surface and islands. This new data was then mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery to provide a realistic view of the planet.

With this information alone one can clearly understand that the image is fake.

This, BTW, is a real image published by NASA enter image description here

  • Ha! I was first! :) – adamczi Sep 23 '16 at 7:08


On GIMP the light superposes very well for the two images, which is slightly suspicious.

Another concerns would be that Puerto Rico seems to have no generators?
Large cities like San Juan should probably still be discernible, not a complete (uniform) blackout as we see here.


Ooh. Nice question. I wonder how we could prove that with a GIS?

I'd probably do a cell-by-cell comparison of the left-hand part of the image. If the lighting pattern was exactly the same for the upper/lower parts, with the exact same cell values and cell sizes, I'd conclude that the lower part was just a direct copy of the upper.

I'd use the RasterCellValueCalculator transformer in FME to do that, but there must be other GIS functionality that could do the same. ArcGIS? QGIS? Anyone?

Would be easier if we had the two separate images, instead of one fused together.


So taking a look at NASA's webpage proves, that this is just a meme.

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