Have you heard? It’s that time of year again. Mars will appear larger than the full moon in the night sky! That’s right! Mark your calendar for August 27th! And this is my reaction:
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Excuse me as I wipe the tears from my eyes. Hahahahahahahahaha.
Seriously, how do people fall for this every single year? There are a lot of gullible people in the world. Even though this event has never happened, they still think it will because of something they read on the internet.
First of all, Mars will never be close enough to the Earth to appear larger than the Moon in the sky. Never. Got it? Never. Not going to happen. Ever. Okay?
This all started in August 2003 when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in more than 50,000 years. However, it was a whopping 55,758,000 km away. So people started suggesting it’ll appear large in the sky, so large that it’ll be larger than the full moon. It was actually a misinterpretation of the news, saying that Mars will appear as large as the full moon when viewed through a telescope, not with the naked eye.
But every year people believe this will happen. Let’s look. Here’s Universe Today explaining it. And Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy explaining it. How about Snopes? Or how about NASA themselves? They’re all from different years, but they’re all valid today.
So, people, Mars will never appear as large as the Moon in the sky. Okay? I hope that’s clear.