Fact Check: Eclipse Over Portugal 'Right Now' Is NOT Authentic 2024 Photo -- Edited Image Has Circulated Since 2021

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Eclipse Over Portugal 'Right Now' Is NOT Authentic 2024 Photo -- Edited Image Has Circulated Since 2021 Old CGI Image

Does an image posted on social media show the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse setting behind a coastal mountain town in Portugal? No, that's not true: This image is fake, and it's old. The April 8, 2024, eclipse did not pass over Portugal. This composite image was circulating in July 2021 and was made with elements merged using a digital editing program.

The altered image (archived here) was posted on X on April 8, 2024, by @Fighter_4_Human. It was captioned:

Solar Eclipse, Portugal, Right Now❤️⬇️
#SolarEclipse #SolarEclipse2024 #Eclipse #EclipseSolar2024 #Eclipse2024 #SuryaGrahan2024 #EcuadorEstadoDeBarbarie #eclissi

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Apr 9 14:59:14 2024 UTC)

This image and its caption are provably false on several points. The image has been circulating on the internet for years, so it cannot be representing "Right Now" in 2024. A reverse image search with Microsoft Bing (archived here) shows the image was posted on r/Berserk on July 17, 2021.

The total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024, was not visible from Portugal as implied in this altered image. The path of totality crossed North America and then the North Atlantic. Some of a partial eclipse could be seen from points in the United Kingdom, and points in Spain and Portugal, just as the sun was setting in those locales. The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, experienced a partial eclipse, with the greatest obscuration of 67.65 percent predicted for Corvo in the Azores. The sun set after the maximum partial eclipse, but before the last contact of the moon's silhouette on the sun. On the coast of mainland Portugal and Spain, the first contact with the moon's silhouette, if visible at all, was just grazing the lower edge of the sun (illustrated below) as it began to dip below the horizon.

(Source: timeanddate.com screenshot taken on Tue Apr 09 17:45:51 2024 UTC)

The seaside promenade (pictured below) and distant hillside town is not in Portugal, it is San Sebastián, Spain, as identified by a Redditor @tortilladekimchi in 2021.


(Source: instantstreetview.com screenshot taken on Tue Apr 09 18:01:37 2024 UTC)

The sky portion of the image was taken from a CGI fantasy video that appears on several stock video websites (here and here). One version posted on Pixabay (pictured below) on March 9, 2021, was identified by Redditor @Yama_Tsukami in 2021. The rapidly moving time-lapse of clouds appears to pass impossibly behind the eclipse.


(Source: Pixabay screenshot taken on Tue Apr 09 16:55:46 2024 UTC)

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims about the April 8, 2024, eclipse can be found here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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