August 25, 2014

Mars will not be as big as the moon WRAL

Posted by tourdemars to General News at August 25, 2014 1:45 PM

he decade-old “Mars Spectacular” rumor is making its way back into in-boxes and Facebook feeds. Claims that Mars will “as big as the full moon” and a “once in a lifetime experience” along with a striking image of twin moons over a Russian monastery are not true. Though Mars is about twice the diameter of the moon, the red planet is still too far to appear that large in our skies, even at the closest points in its orbit. This rumor is rooted in the Aug. 27, 2003, event when the orbits of Earth and Mars brought them within 34.6 million miles. It was a great time to view Mars with a moderately sized telescope. Early versions of the email rightly stated that Mars would look “as big as the full moon, when viewed through a telescope.” As the email was forwarded that last part was dropped or even replaced it with “to the naked eye.” The rumor resurfaced each August for the next several years and then mercifully went away for a few years. It’s back this year, driven by sharing on Facebook and other social media.
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