Stargazing

NO! NO!! NO!! Mars will NOT look as big as the Moon!

Arrgh!!  It’s happening again!  The email hoax about Mars making it’s closest approach in a zillion years is going around again.  it’s happened each summer since 2003, when Mars did make a historically close approach. But as I wrote in 2007:

“No! It won’t happen!! It can’t happen!!!

No, not at all. Or, mostly not at all. This began in 2003, when Mars really did make the closest approach in modern human history. But it still just appeared as a bright red star. The original information was meant for stargazers, not really the general public. Through a telescope, at a magnification of 35 power, Mars would appear through the telescope to be about the same size as the Moon with the naked eye (not through the telescope). Comprehendo? The first time it came around, I think it was an honest misunderstanding. Second time, in 2005, might have been another honest misunderstanding. Third time? I sorta think people are deliberately sending this around.

If Mars ever got close enough to appear naked eye as big as the Moon, like this has led some folk to believe, the gravitational disruption would end human civilization and change Earth’s orbit. Bad news, worse than Bush getting a third term.”

But it does give me an excuse to post this again!

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