The first sign of the end of Summer has arrived! Just as the
robin announces the beginning of Spring, so too does the Great Mars
Hoax announce the end of Summer. If you haven't gotten this e-mail
yet, you soon will. My colleagues and I, from Planetariums all over
the world, are already getting inquires about it. Here it is
**** Two moons on 27 August *****
* August 27 the whole world is waiting for.............*
Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting
It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.
This will cultivate on Aug. 27 when Mars comes within 34.65M
miles of earth. Be sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 12:30 am.
It will look like the earth has 2 moons. The next time Mars
may come this close is in 2287.
Share this with your friends as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will
ever see it again.
This e-mail is a hoax that will not die! Although it is based on some
truth from 4 years ago... Mars did come within 34.65 million miles of
the Earth on Aug 27, 2003, but even then, it was NOT even remotely as
big as the Moon. In fact, it appeared 69x SMALLER than the Moon!
The Moon is ¼ million miles away from the Earth and Mars is about
twice the size of the Moon. Therefore, Mars would have to get within ½
million miles to look as big as the Moon, not 34.65 million miles.
But, the e-mail is correct in that the next time Mars will get as
close as 34.65 million miles will be in 2287. (I'm not waiting around
for it.) So while there was a LITTLE truth to it 3 years ago, now
it's just another internet hoax that will not die.
HOWEVER! There IS a TRUE astronomical happening on Aug 28th this
year! (THIS year, i.e., 2007!)
There will be a Total Lunar Eclipse on the 28th starting at about 4:30
AM EDT (3:30 AM CDT, 2:30 AM MDT, and 1:30 AM PDT.) Moreover, this
should be a good one as the Moon will be passing deeper into the
Earth's shadow that it has done in the Lunar Eclipses of the past few
Ironically, even though the Moon will be in the Earth's shadow,
totally cut off from the Sun's light, it WILL appear as an orange-red
color during totality as it is lit by sunlight refracted, or bent,
through the Earth's air. In other words, it will be lit by all of the
sunrises and sunsets around the world. This means, that while Mars
will NOT be as big as a Full Moon on the night of August 27th, the
MOON will have the color of Mars a few hours later in the pre-dawn sky
of August 28th!
But remember, it's not Mars looking as big as the Moon
it is the Moon
looking like Mars!
Founder, Southern Nights Astronomical League
Coordinator, Kika Silva Pla Planetarium