Last week Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao released the first photograph taken by the Chang-e 1 lunar probe. The picture showed the surface of the moon. Wen declared, "Chinese people's dream of flying to the moon for more than 1,000 years has started to materialize."
But then people on the internet started to point out that the picture looked an awful lot like a NASA picture from 2005. In fact, the two photos looked almost identical. So now the Chinese lunar probe programme is defending itself against charges of fakery.
To be fair to the Chinese, the two photos aren't entirely alike. The shadows are different, and the Chinese photo shows an extra crater. So the similarity is likely a result of the fact that both photos happen to show the same part of the moon. But it's nice to see that China has just as many conspiracy theorists as America does, ready to doubt anything produced by their government space program.
Below are the Chinese (left) and American (right) moon pictures side by side (from the Telegraph
). The red circle indicates where the Chinese picture shows an extra crater.