Claim:   Photograph taken on an Australian beach captures fireworks, lightning, and a comet.

Status:   Partly true.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, January 2007]

Can you tell me if this is ‘real’ please? I have my doubts — although the 3 things were probably happening at the same time, catching it all in 1 pic would be pretty amazing!

It was taken on australia day (26/01) 2007 in western australia,

Click to enlarge

Origins:   Photographs of fireworks,

lightning, or comets are often remarkable images in their own right, but working all three into a single picture makes for an extraordinarily impressive image. The latter feat was accomplished by photographer Antti Kemppainen on 26 January 2007 at a beach in Perth, Western Australia. His stunning picture captures a fireworks display from that evening’s Australia Day celebration, lightning from a distant thunderstorm, and between the two a faint image of Comet McNaught.

This entry only qualifies as “partly true,” though, because all the elements shown in the image weren’t captured simultaneously in a single, unaltered snapshot. The picture is actually (according to NASA‘s “Astronomy Picture of the Day” site) a “three-photograph panorama digitally processed to reduce red reflections from the exploding firework.”

Last updated:   31 May 2007