PostHeaderIcon Mars as Big as the Moon (2009 edition) – Still Not True

It’s back, and it’s more compelling than ever this year. My best post is last year’s. I have also made a corrected version of the e-mail that’s going around in the next post.

  • First off: Mars will NOT be as big as the Moon this August (or any August).
  • Secondly: Wouldn’t it be cool if it was? Well – it would look cool, but I’d be concerned about the gravitational effects on the Earth.
  • Thirdly: Would you like something cool to look for this August instead? Something real? How about the Perseid Meteor Shower? It peaks on August 12th, after midnight. Look Northeast. You can make as many wishes as you like on all those “shooting stars” – you could even wish for the Mars Hoax to come true, if you like.
  • Lastly: If you’re bent on seeing Mars, wait until December 2009, and you’ll see it rising in the East mid-evening. It will look like a bright-ish slightly-orange star.

Here are some quickie details:

  • Mars is at opposition with Earth (as close as we get) every 26 months.
  • This hoax has been going around every August since 2003.

Curious about how that opposition slips against Earth years? Here’s a short overview courtesy of the Students of Exploration and Development of Space.

  • In 2003 Mars was at opposition in August, and it WAS close, from an astronomical point of view. It wasn’t actually all that exciting for the average viewer.
  • In 2004 Mars was not at opposition.
  • In 2005 Mars was at opposition in early November.
  • In 2006 Mars was not at opposition.
  • In 2007 Mars was at opposition in late December.
  • In 2008 Mars was not at opposition.
  • In 2009 Mars will not be at opposition (this one slips to January 2010).
  • In 2010 Mars will be at opposition in January.

Mars Hoax ’09

This year the e-mail is going around as a PowerPoint attachment, complete with all the PowerPoint bells and whistles you could ever wish to avoid.

This is the PowerPoint file if you really want to see it. I’m not sure I’d trust it to be virus-free if I were you, but I did scan it for viruses, and didn’t find anything: MARS.pps. If you’d rather not risk it – screen-shots of the slides without their animated glory follow.

Mars Hoax PowerPoint 2009 Page 1

Mars Hoax PowerPoint 2009 Page 1

Mars Hoax PowerPoint 2009 Page 2

Mars Hoax PowerPoint 2009 Page 2

Mars Hoax PowerPoint 2009 Page 3

Mars Hoax PowerPoint 2009 Page 3

Mars Hoax PowerPoint 2009 Page 4

Mars Hoax PowerPoint 2009 Page 4

Mars Hoax PowerPoint 2009 Page 5

Mars Hoax PowerPoint 2009 Page 5

Anyway, more info on the history of this hoax is here.

And some further links from other people:

~ A l i c e !

10 Responses to “Mars as Big as the Moon (2009 edition) – Still Not True”

  • Rolando says:

    You have no idea how many e-mails I have to erase regarding to this thing, I just hope no one gets offended with the last one when I decided to reply-to-all and told ’em how big dumb*** they were

  • Phil says:

    Thanks for enlightening me on this… Too bad, too. I was kinda excited about it. oh well. Well, while I’m here I might as well check out ‘yer site! ^_^

  • cHi says:

    i would think that if we ever saw mars that big and that close, it would be the end of the world. the moon creates the tides, so a much bigger celestial body at such a close distance would wreak havoc on earth.

  • mrsnib says:

    Got my 1st “alert” for the 2010 season just today! Let’s hope they do not equal past years volume!

  • Stevie says:

    Hi All

    Just received mine got kinda excited then the rational brain came into play and found your site. (if its too good to be try it probably is. Then Google it!!!!)


  • MechaSamurai says:

    Thanks Alice for the confirmation that the end of the world probably isn’t neigh as the top result on with concise information not watered down by advertisements you are a credit to the Internet community. Unfortunately this now involves me trying to explain this to a client who forwarded it to me with great enthusiasm.

    • Alice says:

      Aww, Mecha. Sorry about that.

      If you start of by validating that enthusiasm you should end up in a good place with your client. It’s GREAT to be excited … just redirect that. :)


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