Twin Moon Hoax Goes Viral: Mars Not As Big As Moon

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By Afza Fathima | August 26, 2014 12:41 PM EST

During the months of July and August, every year for more than ten years now, a hoax crops up on the Internet about how there will be two moons, reported by IBN Live. Usually this hoax is spreading through emails and even includes Whatsapp messages as well. 

REUTERS/
The Supermoon rises over houses in Olvera, in the southern Spanish province of Cadiz, July 12, 2014. Occurring when a full moon or new moon coincides with the closest approach the moon makes to the Earth, the Supermoon results in a larger-than-usual appearance of the lunar disk.

The hoax that said that on a particular day, Mars will be very bright, which has its own Wikipedia entry as well. 

The messages that Whatsapp and Internet users are sharing states that, "On 27th of 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 their naked eyes. This day, it will be 34.65 miles away from earth. On this day do not forget to see this at 12.30 midnight. Because you will be seeing two moons in the sky. Please share this with everyone as those who are living now cannot see this on the second time as this event will happen again in the year 2287".

The first message that was cropped in 2003 when Mars was at its closest proximity with Earth, this message is similar to the first and the only change that was noticed is the date.

NASA exposed the false nature of the hoax way back in 2005 and so did a number of other astronomical websites.

EarthSky's Deborah Byrd wrote on its website that she thought that they were going to make it through August 14 without the hoax of the double moon being revived, but she was proved wrong. She added that Google searches had popularized the post, which is the most popular one for two days on their site. 

She explained that there must be an email that is circulating as well as posts on social media, which suggests that on August 27, Mars will be equal in size to the full moon on Earth.

It is said that even from the shortest distance from Earth, Mars can only be viewed as a bright speck and in no way could be close to the size of the moon when seen from the Earth.

Images that accompany the messages show that August 27 will have a full moon but in reality, the moon will only be 2.35 per cent of the full moon, hence, proving that the messages as well as the messages are untrue.

On September 9, the next full moon will be the last super moon of the year 2014.

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(Photo: REUTERS/ / Jon Nazca)
The Supermoon rises over houses in Olvera, in the southern Spanish province of Cadiz, July 12, 2014. Occurring when a full moon or new moon coincides with the closest approach the moon makes to the Earth, the Supermoon results in a larger-than-usual appearance of the lunar disk.
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