Email rumor circulating for the past nine years claims Aug. 27 will bring 'the closest encounter between Mars and Earth in recorded history.'
Description: Email rumor / Hoax
Circulating since: 2003
Status: Outdated / False (see details below)
As posted on the Internet, June 23, 2010:
Two moons on 27th August 2010
27th Aug the Whole World is waiting for....
Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August. 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 off earth. Be sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 @ 11:00 PM (UAE Local Time). 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.
Email contributed by Susan T., July 25, 2007:
FW: TWO MOONS
MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THIS
** Two moon on 27 August ***
27th Aug the Whole World is waiting for.............
Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky Starting August.
It will look as large as the full moon to the naked Eye. This will happen 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.
Analysis: False. The text of this rumor was roughly accurate when a version of it first began circulating in the summer of 2003.
It flooded the Internet under the header "Two Moons on August 27" in 2008, and as a slide show entitled "Mars Spectacular" in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
It's now 2012. How many times can a "once in a lifetime" event occur?
Here are the facts. Seven years ago, on August 27, 2003, the oscillating orbits of Mars and Earth did, in fact, bring the two planets closer together than at any other time during the past 50,000 years. And though Mars never actually appeared "as large as the full moon to the naked eye" not even close it was indeed, for a few special days in 2003, among the brightest objects in the night sky.
October 2005 brought another well-publicized "close encounter," though in that case Earth and Mars were about 13 million kilometers further apart than during the 2003 event.
Nothing so spectacular is predicted for 2012.
Quashing the Myth of a Moon-Sized Mars
Fox News, 26 August 2010
Mars-Moon Hoax Returns
CBC News, 26 August 2010
The Mutating Mars Hoax
NASA Science News, 25 August 2010
'Mars as Big as the Moon' Myth Makes a Return
Herald Sun, 9 August 2010
Sky-Watcher Beware: Mars Email a 'Spectacular' Hoax
Nat'l Geographic News, 26 August 2009
Mars as Big as the Moon: It's Baaaaack
Discover / Bad Astronomy blog, 19 August 2008
Close Encounter with Mars on August 27 (2003)
Urban Legends, July 2003
Mars Spectacular on August 27 (2006)
Urban Legends, July 2006
Last updated: 04/07/12