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Mars not to be as big as the moon...





einstein
There's a rumor going around. You might have heard it at a 4th of July BBQ or family get-together. More likely you've read it on the Internet. It goes like this:

Quote:
"The Red Planet is about to be spectacular."

"Earth is catching up with Mars [for] the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history."

"On August 27th … Mars will look as large as the full moon."

And finally, "NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN."

Those are snippets from a widely-circulated email. Only the first sentence is true. The Red Planet is about to be spectacular. The rest is a hoax.

Here are the facts: Earth and Mars are converging for a close encounter this year on October 30th at 0319 Universal Time. Distance: 69 million kilometers. To the unaided eye, Mars will look 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.

Sixty-nine million km is good. At that distance, Mars shines brighter than anything else in the sky except the Sun, the Moon and Venus. The visual magnitude of Mars on Oct. 30, 2005, will be -2.3. Even inattentive sky watchers will notice it, rising at sundown and soaring overhead at midnight.

You might remember another encounter with Mars, about two years ago, on August 27, 2003. That was the closest in recorded history, by a whisker, and millions of people watched as the distance between Mars and Earth shrunk to 56 million km. This October's encounter, at 69 million km, is similar. To casual observers, Mars will seem about as bright and beautiful in 2005 as it was in 2003.

Although closest approach is still months away, Mars is already conspicuous in the early morning. Before the sun comes up, it's the brightest object in the eastern sky, really eye-catching. If you have a telescope, even a small one, point it at Mars. You can see the bright icy South Polar Cap and strange dark markings on the planet's surface.

One day people will walk among those dark markings, exploring and prospecting, possibly mining ice from the polar caps to supply their settlements. It's a key goal of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration: to return to the Moon, to visit Mars and to go beyond.


Every day the view improves. Mars is coming--and that's no hoax.

Original Source: http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/beware_mars_haox.html
Sorry to disappoint u guys...
carbenson
Wat to tell'em einstein!
Right you are!
even two years ago when Mars was at its closest, it was still a pinprick.
However with just a very cheap telescope or even binoculars, you could get quite a sight!
indyeah
jeez, now dats some science stuff Rolling Eyes
Mr Smith
I have always lauged at all of this... "We are not alone"...

For heck's sake, I won't be alive when we greet them so I don't care about it. There are more than 10 planets... wow... a new planet has been spotted, wow...

What good does that information do to us? Give us a reason to wreck our necks looking up too long, trying to find a small red dot in the sky?

"MOMMEY! ITS A RED DOT, LETS TAKE A PICTURE"

The camera don't work at night, dang.
James007
And what do we use when we quote articles (even with the source beneath it)?

Indeed, quote tags.

Post edited Wink
bdoneck
Nice little bit of information. I think I had heard about it being as big as the moon somewhere but I didn't really believe it.
Deztus
I _almost_ fell for this; got it in an email from my mother, and she does get chain letters from fools who get a kick out of creating them... sigh... Would have been very interesting to see. :]
Davidgr1200
Quote:
On August 27th … Mars will look as large as the full moon.

As seen from where? If you are a lot closer to Mars than the Earth is then it could be right, buit you'd have to be an awful lot closer. What surprises me is that anybody actually gets fooled by this. What's up with people's general knowledge these days. If I said that all books will be ten times larger on Monday how many peopel would believe me then? Ah, only about 10% of the world's population.....
blackheart
I'm confused - isn't this old news?

That article states that Mars is coming... in 2005.
Rather than coming, hasn't Mars already been?
_-WU-_-TANG-_
That will look awsome. As big as the moon?!?
Jack_Hammer
By and by, Mars is not red, it is blue.
a.Bird
We are all floating in space, I don't see what the big deal is.
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