Did NASA's Hubble Telescope take the Weekly World News' "Photo of Heaven" as part of hundreds of photos beamed back from space to the Goddard Space Flight Center in December 1993? No, that's not true: NASA told Lead Stories that it is "not a real Hubble image," but artwork. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, has provided stunning images of distant galaxies, nebulae and other celestial objects.
WASHINGTON, DC - Despite new repairs to the Hubble Telescope, NASA refuses to release old photos or take new ones of Heaven!
In 1994, a researcher was smuggled one top-secret photo the Hubble Space Telescope had taken of what is presumed to be Heaven. Weekly World News was the first to print the image and report on Dr. Masson's findings, but despite the media coverage, NASA refused to acknowledge the existence of the photo.
Now that the Hubble has been repaired and NASA is officially releasing some of it's new findings, the Weekly World News editorial team believes it is NASA's responsibility to further investigate this space anomaly!
This is what the article looked like on the Weekly World News website at the time of writing:
(Source: Weekly World News website screenshot taken on Wed Feb 7 16:56:59 2024 UTC)
The "Photo of Heaven" image first appeared in the February 8, 1994, edition of the Weekly World News (archived here), when the sensationalist and often satirical tabloid was still published in newspaper form. The original article opened with:
WASHINGTON -- Just days after space shuttle astronauts repaired the Hubble Space Telescope in mid December, the giant lens focused on a star cluster at the edge of the universe - and photographed heaven!
That's the word from author and researcher Marcia Masson, who quoted highly placed NASA insiders as having said that the telescope beamed hundreds of photos back to the command center at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., on December 26.
The pictures clearly show a vast white city floating eerily in the blackness of space.
The newspaper tabloid story appears below:
(Source: Weekly World News screenshot taken on Wed Feb 7 18:35:32 2024 UTC)
A reworked version of the original "photo of heaven" claim also appeared in a post and video (archived here) on Instagram on February 6, 2024, under the video headline "NASA found heaven." The post's caption said:
Real or fake⁉️- NASA found heaven using Hubble telescope😨👀
This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Wed Feb 7 19:34:58 2024 UTC)
Claire Andreoli, a public affairs officer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, responded to the Weekly World News "photo of heaven" claim in a February 7, 2024, email to Lead Stories. She said:
The image you're referencing is artwork and is not a real Hubble image. NASA has extensive image and video databases. Any official NASA news or imagery will be shared via an official agency communications channel.
The space agency said its primary imagery database is available here.
Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims involving NASA can be found here.