82nd Airborne solar eclipse photo goes viral – but it’s not real

Photo illustration.
Photo illustration. 82nd Airborne Division

A photo illustration of paratroopers parachuting in front of a solar eclipse went viral on Monday after being shared by the 82nd Airborne Division headquartered at Fort Bragg.

By Monday night, the photo was shared on Facebook nearly 30,000 times, had more than 700 comments and more than 22,000 reactions as people celebrated the proud “All American” division.

The photo was not originally identified as a photo illustration, so many commenters initially thought it was a real photo taken during the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

The 82nd Airborne Division Facebook page later edited the post to clarify and identify the photo as an illustration.

“It takes years and perfect alignment for the moon to fully block out the sun and witness a full solar eclipse; today, the continent looks up and pays attention. When paratroopers fill the sky to block the sun, no moon required; the whole world takes notice,” the page posted, with the additional note: “This is a photo illustration and not an actual photograph of this afternoon's eclipse.”

This week is also the division’s Centennial Week, honoring the 100-year legacy of the 82nd Airborne.

Video: Watch 3 hours of the phases of the solar eclipse over Raleigh compressed into 30 seconds. The photos were taken from the roof of the Renaissance Hotel at North Hills.