A post is going around on Facebook stating that Mars will be so close to us, we'll see it bigger and brighter than ever before. But is there any truth behind it?

Astronomers, night sky enthusiasts, and everyone else who may be interesting in seeing Mars up close, has probably seen the Facebook news. A post was spotted on Facebook claiming that on August 27th Mars will be extremely visible in the night sky - more visible than ever before. The post shows a picture of Mars next to the moon, and Mars looks almost as big as the moon (that's how close it's supposed to be). But is there any truth behind that statement?

Apparently not. It looks like it's just another internet hoax (surprise, surprise). Not only is the picture a photoshopped image, but there's no fact behind the date and time. According to Yahoo Finance (UK and Ireland),

[In 2003]...Mars came closer to Earth than ever before in recorded history at a distance of just 35 million miles...

That is the closest Mars has ever been to Earth, and as close as it will ever be until the year 2287. Yahoo Finance goes on to explain,

...Even more insulting perhaps is the fact that Mars won't even be particularly near the Earth at the end of this month — the time and date provided in the post are a mere perpetuation from the 2003 time and date and don't coincide with any significant celestial event whatsoever.

So don't waste your time - and don't stay up that late, you won't see anything special from the night sky. It was just another internet hoax, and a friendly reminder that you can't always believe what you read online (even if it seems like such a harmless post).

 


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