1. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Nealy every year around August, this claim appears.....

    Mars will be as big as the Moon



    Even though there are several other sources disproving this idea, we still see it appearing as a phenomenon ....perhaps because of clickbait, or perhaps from un-researched re-posts on social media.

    The included doctored photo helps to reinforce these ideas.
    But it is misleading.....
    I found this repeated idea by an FB friend, and several others re-posted it (shared) as if it was a true fact or event.

    But interestingly, we could see "Mars at Opposition" in celestial terms.
    Here is the explanation, and what to look for in late July.... as it is timely and a semi-rare event...
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  2. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    your text is as big as the moon.
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  3. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    ...fixed, lol
    I was hoping to see Mars more better.
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  4. Graham2001

    Graham2001 Active Member

    Dr Stuart Robbins over at the Exposing PseudoAstronomy podcast did an entire episode (118) devoted to this email, including how he thinks the story got started. Below is a link to the show notes for that episode.

    Episode 118 - The Big Mars Hoax / The Two Moons Hoax

    • Informative Informative x 2
  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    From the transcript: "I have a hunch that we might see a surge in these chain e-mails come the lead-up to July 31, 2018."

    Mars is pretty spectacular low in the southern night sky at the moment, BTW (at least from my location in England) but anyone expecting a second moon will be pretty disappointed.
  6. scombrid

    scombrid Senior Member

    I was out collecting fish on a dark spot on the river one night last week. Mars was bright enough to be visible though a thin alto-stratus deck of debris left over from the day's thunderstorms. Sadly it wasn't as big or bright as the waxing crescent moon that was headed over toward the western horizon.
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  7. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    The site that is linked to in the OP, and where this Mars story appears is satirical, with many broadly comical stories. Very much similar to The Onion. In short, the Mars as big as the Moon story is not serious. It is satirical.

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    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    It is correct that Mars' brightness peaks at the moment. That may have been behind the idea of the article.


  9. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I myself saw a weird bright red ball in the sky while driving in the early morning. "That's odd I thought. That seems way too big to be Mars". But it obviously was, I was just unaware of the closeness of Mars. I've also had two friends ask me what it was, and I've seen many questions online

    So even though the claims about it being "as big as the moon" are false, this is actually something that people are noticing by themselves - quite different to the Supermoon thing.
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  10. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    Mars is in opposition and at its perihelion (closest to the Sun).

    It's at it's best at about 1:00. You'll see it, not too far above the horizon, due south. It's just to the left of the teapot asterism of Sagittarius and the brightest part of the Milky Way; while Saturn is the salmon colored planet right in the middle of the MW. Too bad there's a big, fat Moon right in the middle of this. Wait a few days and the Moon will get out of there.

    There's no hope of seeing the MW unless you're in a dark sky area, but Mars and Saturn are bright enough to see even from a supermarket parking lot.

    There will be a lunar eclipse soon. All of Australia, all of Europe, and the eastern part of South America will see totality. North America will not.

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
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  11. DeBean

    DeBean New Member

  12. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    This photo seems to have been taken with an astronomical telescope. The actual view with bare eyes or binoculars was rotated by 180 degrees.

    Fairly spectacular though, those two red apparitions so close together. Mars being low over the horizon (SW Germany) and the long dry spell causing a dusty atmosphere probably amplified the red color considerably.

    In earlier times this most certainly would have prompted some seriously dark prophecies.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
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