Mars Astronomers - Is this crazy or what?

I recently received the following from an email correspondent. Mind you, this is a person who emails “warnings” of “dangers” based on urban legends, so I take eveything she send me with a whole cellar of salt!

But here is the message:

*Two moons on 27th August

27th Aug the Whole World is waiting for…*
Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August 2007.
It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. This
will culminate 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

It seems like just a couple of years ago they were saying that Mars was at its closest approach and would not be so close again for thousands of years. Am I dreaming, or what? Is any of this possible?

Is this message bullshit?

Old and wrong:

And just think about it for a minute - on any given night Mars appears about as large as…well, a bright dot. That’s it. So now somebody is saying that it’s suddenly going to swoop so close to the earth that it appears to be as big as the moon? That’d be maybe 100 times as close as normal?

Yep. That went around a few years ago. IIRC, Mars was close then, but even with my telescope I couldn’t resolve it to more than a dot.

Mars is about twice the diameter of Earth’s moon. To appear the same angular size in the sky as the moon, it would need to be about one-half million miles away (twice the moon’s distance). At its closest, it’s about 35 million miles away.

Telltale signs will include all of the oceans sloshing to one side of the Earth :smiley:

Maybe I should have checked google first, but thanks anyhow to those who answered. I found innumerable sites explaining this is a hoax.

The frightening thing is that the person who sent me this message sent it to about 100 other people, and is a school teacher paid out of public funds to teach our children.

Let’s close this thread and open another one in great debates as to whether the interest is a net asset or liability to human enlightenment :smiley:

Oh, as if you’ve never taken a night time stroll in the late summer and saw this frequent, but yet still beautiful site. Makes me tear up with wonder every time.

On my last stroll on Tattooine, maybe. :slight_smile:


No, you won’t see anything like that on earth, until Proxima Centauri makes a fairly close encounter with our solar system and will appear as large as the sun in the year 2021.

Wait till our galaxy collides with Andromeda . . . but not anytime soon.

That’s when Andromeda will appear the same size as our own galaxy. :smiley:

Mars’ll look plenty big next July.

[sub]It’s in the stars…[/sub]

Is that when the atmosphere is torn from the Earth, evil aliens, mutants run rampant, and I FINALLY GET MY SUNSWORD?


That is depressing. :smack:
Could you send her the snopes reference?

Well, did you ever…?

Dood! You mean you missed the '94 encounter?! It was sunswords for everybody! Maybe you can still find one on ebay?

What a swell party this is!

Ha ha! That’s beautiful. Nice job. :slight_smile:

A full mars and a full moon at the same time? Do you realise how rare that is? :slight_smile:

Which is to say, simple physical reality prevents the Mars-related scenario from coming to pass.

This is, in other words, a “Mars bar.”