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FACT CHECK: Viral image of flying aircraft with solar eclipse in background is fake

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The viral image aircraft flying against the backdrop of the eclipse is edited. The claim shared with the image is also fake. 

After the recent June 21 solar eclipse, an image is going viral on social media platforms, an image of an aircraft flying against the backdrop of the eclipse is being shared with a claim that it was clicked by a British Airways pilot crossing the Atlantic ocean.

A Twitter user shared the image saying, "A British Airways pilot clicked this photo of a solar eclipse when his plane was crossing the Atlantic ocean. One can see another plane on the same flight path. Source: Internet."

At the time of writing this article, this tweet received 100 retweets.

Another Twitter user shared the image with the same caption.

The image is being shared on Facebook as well. While sharing the image, a Facebook user wrote, "Awesome ! Since there is debate on the authenticity of the source of this photograph, I simply rename it as,'Possibility of nature's magnificent beauty'.Additional information: This photograph is also published by Pinterest with the note that it is saved from From the wall of VK Cherian."

This post was shared over 120 times.

We also received a request to check the veracity of the claim. 

The truth behind the claim  

In our investigation, we found this image to be edited and the claim shared with it is also fake. 

With the help of reverse image search, we found several similar images on Shutterstock which had been on the internet for years. That means, digital artwork has been further edited and an aircraft added to it, to make the false claims.

More importantly, NASA guidelines revealed that a solar eclipse can be photographed simply by a smartphone or a DSLR camera. Both need a telephoto lens to capture a photo of the sun and a solar filter seems almost mandatory which makes it impossible to capture from the window of a moving airplane.

In conclusion, the viral image aircraft flying against the backdrop of the eclipse is edited. The claim shared with the image is also fake. 

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