New Delhi: Every year, for more than a decade now, in the months of July and August an old Internet hoax resurfaces for the gullible to consume and share. The message that has been around from the days of email forwards has now also embraced Whatsapp.
The Mars hoax even has a Wikipedia entry of its own.
The message being shared on social media sites says, "On 27th August 2014 there will be two moon. The whole world is waiting for it. On this day Mars will be very bright and like moon everyone can see it with naked eyes. This day it will be 34.65 M Miles away from earth. On this day do not forget to see this at 12.30 night. Because you will see two moons in the sky. This event will happen again in the year 2287. Please share this with all. Because those who are living now cannot see it second time in the year 2287.." This is almost the same message that first surfaced back in 2003 when Mars was closest to the Earth. Only the date is changed for effect.
Even at its least distance from the Earth, Mars would remain only a bright speck in the night sky. (Mars, Earth and moon, via Shutterstock)
Even at its least distance from the Earth, Mars would remain only a bright speck in the night sky and be nowhere close to the size of the moon as seen from Earth.
Some of the images accompanying the messages suggest that August 27, 2014 would be a full moon night but in fact it would be a waxing moon that will be only 2.35% full.
But the next full moon, on September 9, is last super moon of the year.
12:30 Aug27 you will see two moons in the sky, but only one will be the moon. The other will be Mars.next time 2287. pic.twitter.com/xro5RbMNdd— Korah.B. (@jesykorah) August 24, 2014