Have you seen the message circulating on Facebook saying that planet Mars will be visible in night skies side by side with the moon on August 27.
It is a big lie that has been in circulation since 2003.
Here is the original email that has circulated on the internet since 2003.
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 (55,763,108 km) 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 10 p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3:00 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 12:30 a.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. NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN ”
The truth is that Mars will never appear in the night skies as large as the full Moon as depicted in the mail above.
At the closest approach of Mars and Earth, the two planets are still nearly half the distance Earth is from the Sun, and will still look like a bright reddish spot in the night sky.
The Red Planet cannot be that visible at anytime on earth because of It’s size.
“As seen from Earth … Mars’ diameter is about 1/140th of the diameter of the full moon.
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