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South Texas Stargazing

Mars as big as the Moon on August 27th?

9 Aug 2010, 20:20 UTC
Mars as big as the Moon on August 27th?
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SEE MARS AS LARGE AS THE FULL MOON ON 27TH AUGUST 2010 Should be spectacular! Truly a once in a lifetime experience!

It's happening again. People are clamoring for information about an amazing spectacle involving the red planet Mars. An email is circulating suggesting that - on August 27, 2010 - Mars will appear as large as a full moon in Earth's sky. The version I saw actually included a powerpoint presentation, suggesting that Mars and Earth's moon will appear as a "double moon" in late August.

It sounds amazing! Can it possibly be true?

No. It can't. The email is a hoax. It has circulated every summer since 2003. Mars can never appear as large as a full moon as seen from Earth, and Mars will not even be at its brightest in August of 2010.

In fact, in August of 2010 Mars appears as modestly bright star in the western evening sky. Mars was substantially brighter earlier this year, shining most brilliantly when this world came closest to Earth for the year on January 27, 2010. Even so, Mars looked like a bright star, with nowhere the size or brilliance of the full moon. In fact, the only ...

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