OK, The “Grunt heard round the world” is no more, apparently burning up over the Pacific. Russia’s Defense Ministry said the probe and what fragments made it through the atmosphere fell about 775 miles west of Wellington Island.
In looking at Google News, I found this was the highlighted story from the BBC. While it is factually correct in words, it has a visual lie, probably due to the correspondent and/or editors inability to understand that radar imaging does not see color. Note the “fiery” red image.
Now here is the fun part, not only is the false color radar image visually misleading (it is of the intact spacecraft, not the fiery re-entry), it is also a FIVE DAY OLD image. Observe, from the source:
BBC apparently couldn’t be bothered to check their own photo source.
And, per the BBC caption “The German TIRA (Tracking and Imaging Radar) facility caught this image of Phobos-Grunt” the image wasn’t “caught” (implied with the re-entry), it was a planned photo though careful tracking.
If the radar image looked like this, without the false color added….
…do you think the BBC (or the Daily Mail, see update below) would have used it with the re-entry story?
WUWT gets results, BBC has changed the image!
My error. They’ve changed the position of the radar image, moving it further down and substituting a new one in the original position. Thanks to reader JJ for noticing.
They did change the caption though to:
“The German Tira (Tracking and Imaging Radar) facility saw Phobos-Grunt during its last days”.
This implies they realized the original image and caption was misleading.
Plus, there are other material changes to the article. Note that the time stamp for “last updated” has not changed from the original story (13:31). Seems pointless to have a “last updated” time stamp if you don’t use it to advise readers of changes. – Anthony
UPDATE: Monday: 9AM PST The Daily Mail gets it even wronger than the BBC. It seems that my concern about reporters misinterpreting and using a “fiery” radar false color image with the re-entry story isn’t an exclusive misstep of the BBC. If readers see any other misuse/miscaption of the radar image, please point it out in comments. – Anthony