Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Will Mars Appear as Big as The Full Moon?!!!

August 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Don't Miss This!, News

mars-and-the-moon“Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.”

That direct quote is from an email forwarded to me today. The sender was asking me if it was true.  I noticed in the email that it was also sent to about two dozen other people. These were all mostly business associates, so these are educated people, but the fact is that most people will not take the time to research stuff.

So sorry to disappoint, but Mars will not appear as big as the moon to us. A simple logic test would be to go outside and look at the moon and Mars right now. Is Mars half the size of the moon , now that August 27th is only a few weeks away? Can you even find Mars in the sky right now?

This hoax gets circulated each year, and each year I am asked by my peers if this will happen.  I usually ask them what do they think and why, and am always entertained at their excitement about the event, but lack of fact finding or preparation for such a great celestial event.

According to and Wikipedia this hoax started off in August 2003 when Mars did come to its closet point to Earth in 60,000 years. But Mars comes pretty close to this distance every 15 years.

So for your entertainment and reference here is the famous email hoax below.


Something to look forward to this summer.


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.  Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.

By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That’s pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.
Share this with your children and grandchildren.



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