Can you identify which one is fake? NASA reveals the fake space images used to train its astronomical algorithms – with just one of these 225 snaps showing a genuine cosmic phenomenon

  • NASA posted a mosaic consisting of 225 images. 224 are real, but were faked by artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The last image is of an interstellar phenomenon that NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured.
  • You can search the mosaic for the actual image to see if AI can make you look foolish. 


NASA has revealed a stunning mosaic of fake space images used to train its astronomical algorithms – but has hidden within it is a single image of a genuine cosmic marvel. 

This mosaic contains 225 images. 224 of them are artificial intelligence-generated fakes. One image shows an interstellar phenomenon. It was taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.    

NASA employs computer algorithms to analyze digital night skies taken with robotic telescopes. This allows them to identify stars and galaxies as well as their properties. 

This mosaic consists of 225 images, 224 of which are fake. One is real - but can you spot which one? If you're having trouble finding it, MailOnline reveals the answer below

This mosaic contains 225 images. Of these, 224 are fake. But which is the real one? MailOnline provides the clue below if you are having difficulty finding it.

However, to calibrate these algorithms you can use fake images to simulate universes. 

NASA stated, “Why would anyone want to create a fake universe?” For one reason – to better understand our real universe.

“The mosaic of false images featured in the feature was designed to imitate the images on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. (APOD).”   

The new Twitter accountRegularly posting photos of fake Astronomy Pictures of the Day, AI generated shots. These pictures range from murky splodges and impressively realistic panoramas. 

Creating fake images of cosmic phenomena using AI is also the subject of a new pre-print research paper led by Michael J. Smith. The University of Hertfordshire PhD student. 

The technique is based on a score-based generative model, a type of AI that can produce high quality image samples. 

Did the AI fool you? Below is a red circle to help you find the true image if you still haven’t gotten over it yet. 

Did you spot it? The only real image in the mosaic shows the Crab Nebula, a nebula located 6,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. All the others are fake

It was there! Only one image is visible in this mosaic: the Crab Nebula. It’s a 6,500-light-years distant nebula in Taurus. They are all fake.

When you recognize the image, the true one really pops out (although there are a few fake ones).

Close to the bottom on the right hand side of the mosaic is an amazing shot of the elaborately-patterned Crab Nebula, taken by Hubble. 

These are huge clouds of gas and dirt that form in the distance between stars. Nebulae act as a nursery to new stars. They are formed when a star larger than our Sun starts to die and gives off a solar-wind of gas.

Crab Nebula can be found 6,500 light-years away from Earth. It is located in Taurus constellation. It is easiest to spot this nebula using a small telescope in January. 

Located 6,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus, the Crab Nebula can be spotted with a small telescope and is best observed in January. The nebula was discovered by English astronomer John Bevis in 1731, and later observed by Charles Messier who mistook it for Halley’s Comet

Crab Nebula, located 6500 light-years away from Earth and in Taurus constellation can be easily spotted using a small telescope. Best observed during January. The nebula was discovered by English astronomer John Bevis in 1731, and later observed by Charles Messier who mistook it for Halley’s Comet

NASA claimed that “The Crab Nebula”, the result of an explosion in supernova 1054 AD is filled with mystifying filaments. 

“The filaments appear not only to be extraordinarily complex but also have less mass that was expelled by the supernova, and are faster than what would be expected in a free blast.” 

Astronomers from China first discovered the nebula over 1000 years ago.

In 1731, it was discovered by English astronomer John Bevis, before being later observed by French astronomer Charles Messier, who mistook it for Halley’s Comet. 

A pulsar is a neutron-star as big as the Sun, but smaller than a small village. It lies at its centre. The pulsar rotates approximately 30 times per second.    


Crab Nebula is also called M1, NGC 52 and Taurus A. It’s a remnant of a supernova in Taurus. 

Named after William Parsons (1850), an astronomer who saw it and created a drawing that looked almost like a crab. 

It was found for the first times in 1731. A subsequent study indicated that its formation corresponded with a bright supernova discovered by the Chinese 1054. 

The link between it and the supernova explosion SN1054 was discovered in the 20th century, when astronomers analyzed observations made by Chinese astronomers back to July 4, 1054.

A new star was reported to them by two observers. It could have been seen at the same time as today’s crab nebula. 

Although it isn’t easily visible with the naked eye, the apparent magnitude of Saturn’s moon Titan makes it easy to see with binoculars, if conditions permit. 

It lies approximately 6,500 miles from Earth, and measures 11 light-years across.

The Pulsar is located at the center of the Nebular, spinning at 30.2 times per Second and emitting radiation from radiowaves to gamma-rays.