Mars will NOT be as Big as the Full Moon on August 27th!

It’s that time of year again, when the emails and powerpoint presentations start going around about Mars being as big or as bright as the Full Moon on August 27th. I’ve received several emails from people asking about it in the last couple of weeks.

It’s a hoax and email spam. You can safely ignore and delete it, and don’t propogate it by forwarding it onto people 🙂

Mars, by Hubble

Mars, by Hubble

On August 27th 2003, Mars was at its closest to Earth for some time – still a distance of 56 million km, but some communication at the time hyped it up a bit more than necessary (it was never as bright or as big as the full moon).

Every year since then, an email has been circulated around the internet claiming various things like:

  • “no human being has seen in recorded history”
  • “The Red Planet is about to be spectacular”
  • “Mars will look as bright as the full moon”
  • “It will look like the earth has 2 moons”

and that on August 27th everyone should race outside and look at Mars.

It’s all not true. Mars reaches opposition in late January, 2010, and even then it will still just look like a medium-brightness red star.

So tell your friends it’s a hoax and it’s spam, and wait until this time next year when you start receiving them again 🙂

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