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Mars Close to Earth on August 27?


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Slide #1
Mars August 27

Netlore Archive: Mars as big as the moon on Aug. 27? Recycled hoax claims August 27 will bring the closest encounter between Mars and Earth in recorded history, but this 'once in a lifetime event' already came and went in 2003.

Image source: Unknown, circulating via email

Description: Email rumor / Hoax
Circulating since: 2003 (this version: 2009)
Status: Outdated / False
Analysis: See last page

See also: 2013 version

Full text of rumor:
Email example contributed by Bob H., April 24, 2009:


The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!

This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history.

The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.

Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again. The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide.

At a modest 75-power magnification Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.

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