"Mars will be as big as the Moon" no, it won't.

Leifer

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


Mars will be as big as the Moon

http://www.scienceinfo.news/july-27-2018-the-planet-mars-will-be-as-big-as-the-moon/


[On July 27, around midnight, do not forget to raise your head and look into the sky: Mars will be the most brilliant star in the sky. This is because it will have an apparent diameter as big as the Full Moon! It will be possible to observe, with the naked eye, a cosmic phenomenon which will allow the inhabitants of the Earth to behold … two moons!
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mars_moon-660x330.jpg

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.....

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/08/22/mars_as_big_as_the_moon_no_just_no.html

This all started in 2003, when an email got spread around claiming that Mars would look as big as the Moon in the night sky on a specific date in August. Because I am kind-hearted, I attribute that to a simple misread of the original idea: On that date, through a telescope that magnifies an image 75x, Mars would look as big as the Moon does to the naked eye.
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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...
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/bruce-betts/mars-opposition-lunar-eclipse.html[/EX]
 
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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.

"Come one, come all! See the never-before-seen and never-to-be-seen again phenomenon of two moons in the sky, when Mars appears as large as the moon! This August 27 ... don't miss it!" So the paraphrased claim goes. And goes around every August. I don't seem to recall seeing Mars as big as the Moon in the sky, so in this episode I explore the origins of the claim and why it can never be true.
Content from External Source
Episode 118 - The Big Mars Hoax / The Two Moons Hoax

http://podcast.sjrdesign.net/shownotes_118.php
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff 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.

"Come one, come all! See the never-before-seen and never-to-be-seen again phenomenon of two moons in the sky, when Mars appears as large as the moon! This August 27 ... don't miss it!" So the paraphrased claim goes. And goes around every August. I don't seem to recall seeing Mars as big as the Moon in the sky, so in this episode I explore the origins of the claim and why it can never be true.
Content from External Source
Episode 118 - The Big Mars Hoax / The Two Moons Hoax

http://podcast.sjrdesign.net/shownotes_118.php

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.
 

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.
 

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.


About

This ScienceInfo.news website is the English version of the French ScienceInfo.fr scientific information website.

Now, all you need is to be just a little curious and click on this link to find out that this scientific information site publishes totally false or sensationally fake information, which is, moreover, not true at all.

Let it be said once and for all: the site ScienceInfo.news is a parody, satirical, unnerving and shameless site.

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http://www.scienceinfo.news/about/
 

JFDee

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

From
http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/why-is-mars-sometimes-bright-and-sometimes-faint

So Mars’ brightness waxes and wanes in our sky about every two years. But 2018 is a very, very special year for Mars. Mars will appear brighter in our sky this year than it has since 2003.

The last opposition was on May 22, 2016. Around that time, Mars was very bright indeed in Earth’s sky. [...]

The 2018 opposition of Mars isn’t an ordinary opposition, though. Astronomers call it a perihelic opposition (or perihelic apparition) of Mars.
In other words, we go between Mars and the sun – bringing Mars to opposition in our sky – around the same time Mars comes closest to the sun. The word perihelion refers Mars’ closest point to the sun in orbit.
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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.
 

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.

https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2018-july-27#
 
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JFDee

Senior Member.
The Moon and Mars last night.
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.
 
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