The Sciences

Today is the day Mars isn’t as big as the Moon!

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitAug 27, 2007 2:58 AM


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Just like every day isn't.

I've already debunked this story a zillion times -- every year, it seems, including 2007 -- but I'll put up a reminder now since today is(n't) the day. The story is still around; a friend asked me the other day if there would be "two moons in the sky", and I think this is what she meant. I also did an interview for this for the Orlando Sentinel. If you see more articles on it, link to 'em in the comments! Another example: Emily. So: 1) Mars is not as big as the Moon in the sky. 2) Mars can never be as big as the Moon in the sky. 3) You need a decent telescope to even see Mars as a disk instead of little orangey ball of light. 4) If Mars looked as big as the Moon, we'd be in for a whole peck of trouble. 5) Mars isn't even close to the Earth in its orbit right now. We're approaching it, like a car on the inside track at a raceway, but it'll be December until we're at our closest. Even then, it'll be tens of millions of miles away. 6) Conclusion: go outside if you want, and enjoy the night sky. Jupiter is nice. But Mars is still a long way off and not much to see. See you next year. Sigh.

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