No! This isn’t a Samantha Cristoforetti selfie: it’s a photomontage

The discovery was made by the dean of the debunk Italians Paolo Attivissimo, who exposed the carelessness of several newspapers, who gave credit to a real photomontage that Samantha Cristoforetti would have taken during a “walk” in Space, evidently without first ascertaining the genuineness of the source: the tweet of a common user, which soon went viral even in several Facebook shares.

For those in a hurry:

  • The selfie attributed to Samantha Cristoforetti is a photomontage that has been around since at least 2016.
  • Several details in the image suggest that it is a fake.
  • The tweet used as a source by several media outlets that relaunched the image has been removed.


There are four Italian newspapers that have given credit to the fake selfie of the Italian astronaut: I read, Il Mattino, La Gazzetta del Sud And The Gazzettino. An image search, on Google or There is (tools that journalists should know) to discover that the image dates back to 2020. A variant of the same photo was released in 2016 by CBS News. But the same details visible in the image invalidate its authenticity (the bold is ours):

The photomontage has the completely wrong lights: the astronaut is illuminated by day – continues Attivissimo -, but behind the Earth he is seen at night. Where would the light that illuminates the astronaut come from? And what would that large square white object be seen reflected in the visor? Moreover the photomontage shows an American spacesuit, while Samantha Cristoforetti went out into space last July 21 using a suit Russianwhich is completely different. And the shot of the Earth is far too wide to be taken from the altitude of the International Space Station, where Samantha is now located, at 400 km of altitude.

Attivissimo asked for an explanation from the author of the tweet used as a source by the Italian newspapers, who responded by blocking it, not without having removed his share.

The original photo

Searching online, we find that the photo with the original subject is found in some stock image sites like in this link and with the following title: “Cosmic astronaut passing through space and taking selfies”.

As he tells us Ufo interestthe image comes from the NASA website.

A fake that fuels conspiracy theories

Some users have observed how the image clearly shows the stars, contrary to the images of astronauts on the Moon:

The photos I downloaded from the net.

1 * photo Moon landing, you can’t see the stars …

2 * selfie photos of Cristoforetti, you can see everything …

So ?

In one of the images released, there are those who attack the Italian astronaut with the hashtag #AstroBugiardah:

1) When are stars ever seen from the side illuminated by the Sun?

2) Do you really believe that from Soli 400km in height, you can frame half the Earth in a ball?

3) What lens did he use to avoid the 28,000 km / h of free fall?


The image of a space selfie of Cristoforetti, posted by a common user on Twitter, was used as a source by at least four Italian newspapers, without carrying out the slightest verification.

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