Home > 2012, Nibiru > The black boxes in Google Sky, WikiSky, and Microsoft World-Wide Telescope are not ‘censored’ by NASA

The black boxes in Google Sky, WikiSky, and Microsoft World-Wide Telescope are not ‘censored’ by NASA

From: 2012hoax.org

Censorship?

Much is made of the fact that there is a blank region in Orion that appears on Google Sky, WikiSky and Microsoft WorldWide Telescope. The region in question can be seen here.

What is it?

The presence of the blank square is undeniable. So, why is it there? Why is approximately the same region being ‘censored’ by three major online planetarium programs? Did the Men In Black come knocking on Google’s door?

The truth of the matter is far more mundane.

DSS

The images that make up the visual portion of these online planetarium sites are all from the same source… the DSS (Digitized Sky Survey). The original DSS1 was a high-resolution scan (digitization) of photographic plates. For the northern sky, a 1958 sky survey from the Palomar Observatory2 was the source. For the Southern skies, Southern Sky Atlas and its Equatorial Extension (together known as the SERC-J) and the southern Galactic Plane survey (SERC-V), from the UK Schmidt Telescope at Anglo-Australian Observatory, were used.

The so-called ‘missing’ block comes from the Palomar data.

Wait, when did you say?

1958. The base data that appears in Google Sky, WikiSky and Microsoft World-Wide Telescope is from 1958. These programs are augmented with other data sources, but the block appears in the DSS data.

So, this means that the conspiracy theorists would have you believe that NASA and other branches of the government are trying to hide something in data that is 52 years old3.

Why is there a “blacked out” square?

Ah, but is there a ‘blacked out’ square? As it turns out, no. That one block of data has some apparent issues, since it drops out of the interface of three different online planetarium programs. However, it is possible to directly query the data from the original source, the Space Science Telescope Institute. This is the source used in the video below.

YouTube

Here is a good video on YouTube debunking the ‘censorship’ claim by EvilSpork29 titled “Debunking: Google SkyView, WikiSky & WorldWide Telescope Cover-up & Conspiracy Theory”[1]. The author takes you through step by step, and shows you exactly where to get the ‘missing’ data.

SkyMap.org

An astute reader points out that a fourth online planetarium does not have a blank square in this area, and that is SkyMap. In fact, you can see ‘behind the square’ at this link.

Imperfect Data

In addition to all of the other objections, the idea that the DSS data had to be edited fails on another count. The data are not perfect. This is an implied property where people imply that NASA wouldn’t publish these images with errors in them. The fact of the matter is that the DSS imagery have all kinds of image artifacts.

Go back to the link to google sky, and zoom out until you see the stars in Orion and Sirius. Once you have these, look for a round blue object between Sirius and Orion, sitting just above Sirius, and zoom in on it, until you see this.

That is the underside of the telescope at Palomar. It is an image that appears on the original photographic plates, and is a result of a double-exposure or light leak onto the plate. The plate was not discarded because it was felt that the data was not obscured enough, and was too valuable to discard. There are several of these in the DSS data, along with some other interesting imaging artifacts.

The telescope imaging process introduced certain artifacts into the plates such as varying levels of brightness, noise, and color saturation, as well as vignetting: a darkening of the edges and the corners of each plate, which needed correction in order to generate a clear and seamless image. Terapixel programmatically removed these anomalies, stitched and smoothed images, and then created image pyramids for visualization in WorldWide Telescope (WWT). [2]

Observation

Even if we were to believe the conspiracy theorists who claim that planetarium programs have been censored by nefarious powers that be, it remains a very simple matter to stand in your backyard and gaze in the direction of the allegedly hidden coordinates. All the censorship in the world can’t cover up the actual sky, nor can it ensure the silence of millions of professional and amateur astronomers around the world.

Conclusion

The claim of censorship fails because the data are available from the Space Science Telescope Institute as well as sky-map.org. The data is over 50 years old, so whatever a censor was hiding would have had to have been visible at that point. Also, censorship conspiracies are dubious from a practical standpoint, because hiding something in software does nothing toward hiding it in the actual sky, as people (including astronomers) can simply look up at supposedly “censored” regions of the heavens.

Footnotes
1. now called the ‘First Generation’ DSS or sometimes DSS1
2. Officially the National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (NGS-POSS)
3. as of 2010
Bibliography
1. “EvilSpork29” “YouTube – Debunking: Google SkyView, WikiSky & WorldWide Telescope Cover-up & Conspiracy Theory.” YouTube. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmsYHZzyjcM>.
2. “Terapixel – Microsoft Research.” Microsoft Research – Turning Ideas into Reality. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. <http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/terapixel/default.aspx>.
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  1. Brenda
    January 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Whoever made this link probably works for NASA and the government and was told to create this link just to make us believe that we are wrong about the conspiracy.

  2. yowcrooks
    January 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    A typical comment from a ‘2012 Nibiru truther’. Doesn’t have a decent argument to go against the facts so has to use the “you work for the government/NASA ploy”. Sadly that doesn’t wash anymore. It’s an act of desperation from doomsday whackos when they know this 2012 BS is crumbling around them. At least you admitted it’s a conspiracy though, well done. You’re heading in the right direction.

  3. Steve Stafford
    March 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Brenda…use a telescope and look at the section of the sky for yourself. Even a decent pair of binoculars would work by now as most theories state you will be able to see this with the naked eye by May 2011. You will see that there is nothing there.

    I am amazed at the ability of some people to tell “stories” and have people believe it as truth. A little research and/or work being done would show these stories for what they really are. Dumpster fodder.

    For this to be true…every astronomer in the world would have to be silenced…and most of them do not listen to any government agency as they are in their field for the science and not some conspiracy agenda. Besides…every amatuer astronomer would need to be silenced by now as they would also be able to see something in that region of space if it were really there. I have looked myself and there is nothing there. The government can not prevent me from seeing with my telescope…nor can they stop you. Just get out there and look. You might even be amazed at what you can see…and just might turn into an amateur astronomer yourself. 😉

  4. rethink
    September 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    yeah what about this, check out 6h:47m:1.0s -57:04:14.2 on googlesky maps

  5. yowcrooks
    September 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    You need to re-read the article again. Particularly the part on “Imperfect Data” then you’ll know what that is.

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