Monday, August 25, 2014

Moon Over Mars


I know it’s not Friday, but let’s chat for just a moment about something making the rounds of Facebook.  Apparently there’s a belief that in a couple of days—August 27—Mars will be close enough to the earth that it will rise in the night sky and appear as a second moon.


Given the distance and relative size of Mars, this struck me as questionable, so I thought I’d run it through a quick Google search.  Sadly, it turns out to be untrue.  As cool as it might be to witness such a thing, it is not to be.

Apparently this misrepresentation of astronomical happenings has been going on every summer since 2003, though I don’t really remember seeing it before.  And, I have to say, every time I run across one of these strange viral hoaxes, I’m glad that the tradition of passing such things along via email seems to have gone by the wayside, at least for my friends.  I’d much rather be able to scroll mindlessly past a Facebook post than have such things show up in my inbox.

Anyway, if you’d like to know more about why this story apparently began, or why it’s patently false, you can read more about it here.  In the meantime, consider this your PSA: you don’t need to worry about catching a once in a lifetime viewing of the uber rare double full moon, because it isn’t going to happen.