Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two moons on 27th August 2010 hoax

Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August. It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.
This will culminate on 27 August 2010 when Mars comes closest within 34.65M miles off earth.
Be sure to watch the sky on 27 August 2010 12:30 am. It will look like the earth has 2 moons.
The next time Mars may come this close is in Year 2287.
Share this with your friends as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it again!!/notes/adrian-liaw/two-moons-on-27th-august-2010/438206509632

Only the last sentence is true. The rest is a hoax.

Ah... the red planet, shrouded in mystery~ As always, we are interested to know more about it, and curiosity has driven some of us to the limit of sanity; to repeatedly post an email that has been around since 2003.

Here are the facts:

The hoax tells that the Mars would come as close as 34.65 million miles, that's 55.76 million kilometers. Well.. sadly for all you Mars fanatics, that event occurred back in 2003, on August 27th.(which shows that this email has been circulating around since 2003) That was the closest distance between us and Mars in recorded history.

Earth and Mars again converged for a close encounter on October 30th 2005 at 0319 Universal Time.
Distance: 69 million kilometers. To the unaided eye, Mars looked like a bright red star, a pinprick of light, certainly not as wide as the full Moon.

Disappointed? Don't be. If Mars did come close enough to rival the Moon, its gravity would alter Earth's orbit and raise terrible tides.

69 million km is good. At that distance, Mars shines brighter than anything else in the sky except the Sun, the Moon and Venus.

Remote Possibility

Mars will never outshine the moon, or appear as large as the moon. Mars is smaller than Earth, only twice the size of Luna. (Mars diameter:6800km, moon diameter: 3476km).

The average distance between the Earth and its natural satellite is 0.38 million km (note here I write average, because the orbit of the moon is elliptical, not circular) whereas the closest distance between us and Mars is 56 million km which happened only once.

With such combination; only twice the size of our moon, but situated 56 times further~ how is it possible that Mars would appear as large as the moon? even at the closest distance of 56 million km, it would still be 140 times smaller than our moon, though it is already clear enough for us to spot the red sparkling dot with unaided eyes.

Painted green by a flashlight, astronomer Dennis Mammana of California points out Mars to onlookers on Aug. 26, 2003, the last time Mars was so close to Earth. Photo credit: Thad V'Soske.

You want to see two moons? Go to Mars then. Mars has two natural satellites, Phobos and Deimos. They aren't spherical though, because they are captured asteroid with irregular shape and small size. In fact Phobos is only 22.6 km wide, and Deimos a mere 12.6 km.

If you're desperate to see more moons, then go to Jupiter. It has 64 moons =P and one of them may have enough oxygen to sustain up to 6.6 billion pounds of complex, animal-like organisms~~ Europa.

So, the next time you see anyone talking about Mars coming so close to Earth, be sure to check at the NASA website or clear your doubts, before posting it on facebook. =.=


info: › Space News

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