North Korea likely Photoshopped missile launch images, analyst says

Different In another post Dr Langbroek highlighted that one image has Andromeda in the background and another has Orion

Different In another post Dr Langbroek highlighted that one image has Andromeda in the background and another has Orion

North Korea state media reported the Hwasong-15 reached an altitude of 4,475 kilometers (2,800 miles), putting the "whole" USA mainland in range. Korean Air said the pilots on two of its flights bound for Seoul "saw a flash and everyone is assuming it should be the missile because of the timing".

Amid reports that North Korea is testing nuclear missiles, airlines are rerouting flight paths to avoid North Korean airspace.

Two of the images that were shot from the same viewpoint seemed to show two different constellations in the background of the missile, Langbroek said on Twitter: "Two images from clearly same viewpoint, but dramatically different star backgrounds! Orion (Southeast) versus Andromeda (Northwest)!" tweeted Monday, along with photos of the launch.

In a series of posts, the scientist mentioned other things he found inconsistent in the pictures, which led him to believe they have been tampered with.

"You should see constellations that are opposites in the sky".

According to CNN, using longer exposures meant the movement would be captured as a blur.

These were not the only images that were used by him to prove his point.

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Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham said Sunday on "Face the Nation" that preemptive war in North Korea is "becoming more likely" as the country's improving missile technology presents an increasing threat. "Stars just don't look that different a few miles apart, and we have no reason to disbelieve that this launch was from the Pyongsong region north of Pyongyang".

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, pointed out to CNN that the stars in the photo looked too clear for a picture capturing a missile's rapid ascent.

Essentially, North Korea's claims about the source of their images don't match with the stars visible in the pictures.

Using stars to locate where a missile was launched is much more hard. The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile tested this time by North Korea is said to have a range of around 13,000 km and can allegedly hit any area in the mainland US.

However, he said not all the images appeared to be tampered with.

"They looked so crisp, that just didn't seem right to me", McDowell said.

Langbroek said he's not suggesting the launch was staged, just some of images were altered for "aesthetics".

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