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bob gillander
2006-Jul-15, 04:44 AM
I just received an email stating that Mars will appear as big as our moon in August. Is this true?

Ronald Brak
2006-Jul-15, 04:48 AM
Not unless Merciless Ming of the planet Mongo moves it closer.

WaxRubiks
2006-Jul-15, 05:04 AM
do people not understand about orbits? They are very predictable, hard to change things. Planets just don't carear around space like dodgem cars.

Ronald Brak
2006-Jul-15, 05:16 AM
Well, a lot of people don't have a clear idea about orbits. Some people are shocked when they notice the moon in the daytime sky. (This sort of stuff makes me think most UFO reports are result of people not knowing what they are looking at. Well, that sort of is the definition of a UFO, I suppose...)

It is possible for mars to come as close as 54 million kilometers to the earth. (Although this is extremely rare, once every 20,000 years or so. It averages about 78 million kilometers on close approaches.) This is still about 150 times as far as the moon. Even as the closest approach it will never approach anything like the apparent size of the moon from earth.

ToSeek
2006-Jul-15, 07:08 PM
You've probably received the email, haven't you? The one that breathlessly says that Mars will appear as big as the full Moon in the sky? That says Mars will be closer to the Earth on August 27th than it has in 5000 years, and it may be 2267 until it gets this big again? If you haven't seen it, I have reprinted it at the bottom of this page (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/news/marsattacks2005.html#email).
Don't believe everything you read. The email is wrong. Mars won't be closest in August, it won't be as big as the full Moon, and it was actually closer back in 2003. But the best part is that this email is a joke, like a meme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme). It's a near-exact duplicate of an email sent around the internets back in 2003, August 2003, to be exact, when Mars really did have a close apparition with the Earth. Someone out there in web-land took that old email and started sending it out again. It caught on, and now everyone has seen it.


- http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/news/marsattacks2005.html

ToSeek
2006-Jul-15, 07:13 PM
P.S. Thread moved from "What's Up" to "Q&A".

Tobin Dax
2006-Jul-15, 10:13 PM
Not again. :wall:

Darrrius
2006-Jul-15, 10:19 PM
this one keeps coming up...

Chuck
2006-Jul-15, 11:51 PM
Don't believe them! Everyone over 5'9" tall will have to duck!

The Bad Astronomer
2006-Jul-15, 11:56 PM
Yeah, I got an email about this the other day. This was wrong in 2003, it was wrong in 2005 when some twinkie rehashed it and sent it out again, and it's wrong again, again. I will put this on my blog, and probably up in my news section of the main site too. Grrrrr.

01101001
2006-Jul-15, 11:57 PM
this one keeps coming up...
Indeed. I urge bob gillander, the receiver, to give some feedback as to its implausability, to the sender, and ask the sender to do same. Maybe if people as urgently sent out the truth as they do a seductive lie, it will help stem the flow.

But, I can't see it stopping. It'll be back next summer. And the next...

When's the heat-death of the universe happening, again?

Van Rijn
2006-Jul-16, 12:11 AM
These things are always annoying. When I oversaw computer virus incidents for my (rather large) department, computer virus hoaxes were one of the biggest time wasters around. People would send an email of the latest "Good Times" virus hoax variation to all their friends to be "helpful" and then they would send them on further, and so on and so on. Then I would get dozens of emails asking if this one was real . . . and I would carefully explain that no, it was just like the last dozen they had asked me about.

Anyway, the emailed virus hoaxes came in waves, and a couple of times I was able to piece together how a particular hoax email had made it into the department, floated around for a few weeks, somebody sent it to a friend who worked somewhere else, it had gone around there for awhile, and came back to us through someone else . . .

I did develop a standard and simple FAQ, but most people didn't bother to read it. *sigh*

Anyway, these things take years to fade out, if they ever do.

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Jul-16, 12:16 AM
Guys, notice the winky face in the subject. He's trying to be funny I guess...*cough*

Van Rijn
2006-Jul-16, 12:23 AM
Indeed. I urge bob gillander, the receiver, to give some feedback as to its implausability, to the sender, and ask the sender to do same. Maybe if people as urgently sent out the truth as they do a seductive lie, it will help stem the flow.


That's a good point. Bob, I am glad you stopped by. Please don't send the incorrect email on to anyone else, direct the sender to the correct information, and ask them to refrain from sending the email further. The only way this nonsense will stop is if people stop sending it.

Van Rijn
2006-Jul-16, 12:25 AM
Guys, notice the winky face in the subject. He's trying to be funny I guess...*cough*

Whether or not he believes it, some do, and he did receive the email.

mattweather
2006-Jul-16, 12:45 AM
This thing get me feel weird. Why don't we wait til August and see whats happen ok? I had predicted a comet which burned up in QLD couple months ago, it did happened. I think that person who emailing us is trying to get it right or even is wrong which making extreme exciting events.

Guys, Mars atm seems visable in my sky around after sunset, i not sure that is Mars. It shows a same colour to 2003 closet. Looks real to me and other object is Venus right after sunset in east too, but it white. Mars is right behind Venus.

The Bad Astronomer
2006-Jul-16, 01:06 AM
The email I got said it will happen in August. This is as silly as it gets-- Mars will be about as far as it can be away from us in August! It's approaching the other side of its orbit right now; that's why it's near the Sun.

Try this: go to the US Naval Observatory's webpage (http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/geocentric.html) which calculates distances to planets. Change the Object drop-down to Mars, put in August 1, and have it calculate the position every day for the month.

On Aug 1, the distance is 2.497 AU, and it gets steadily more distant through Aug 31, when it will be 2.581 AU away. See? It won't start approaching us again until September 30.

So the email, besides being a dumb rehash, is nearly as wrong as it can be. Mars won't have another close approach until December 19, 2007, and it'll be 20% farther away than it was at the last closest approach, in October of 2005.

mattweather
2006-Jul-16, 02:01 AM
No worries and it quite a dream then. I think some people like to make it extreme and exciting stupidity. This forum got affected by lies and stupidity off other science and way of life introductions.

astromark
2006-Jul-16, 09:56 AM
Information is often distorted or just plain wrong. Mattweather, yes Mars might be visible getting very low shortly after sunset but that bright object can not be Venus. Venus is in the eastern sky clearly visible in the early morning twilight. The planet Jupiter is almost directly overhead in the early evenings, I guess that is what you are seeing.
Go visit an observatory and talk with the staff there. They will welcome you into the fold and, answer all your questions with enthusiasm. There are a large number of sky maps on the 'net' try a search of 'sky maps' This will put you straight. good hunting.

mattweather
2006-Jul-17, 01:02 AM
Yeah cheers astromark.

I thought Venus is in evening sky overhead atm or is that Jupiter? I am getting confused!

PhantomWolf
2006-Jul-17, 01:57 AM
do people not understand about orbits? They are very predictable, hard to change things. Planets just don't carear around space like dodgem cars.

Tell that to Nancy "Planet X is coming in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012" Lieder that.



edited to add strikeouts. :) Thank you Van Rijn

mattweather
2006-Jul-17, 02:01 AM
Maybe 2012 is true?

Van Rijn
2006-Jul-17, 02:46 AM
Note: BA, Fraser, we need the ability to do strike out text. :cry:

Just use the and like so. (And "noparse" is handy for examples.)

See here:

http://www.bautforum.com/misc.php?do=bbcode

ArgoNavis
2006-Jul-17, 04:01 AM
Maybe 2012 is true?

maybe pigs will fly

jseefcoot
2006-Jul-18, 06:35 PM
The saddest thing about this is how many people will believe something just because they saw it on TV, or read it on the net, or got it in the mail. I know far too many people that take for fact stuff that is at best tabloidal in nature and questionable in accuracy or even veracity. It seems like these people are the majority, too -- meaning that they cast the most votes at elections and have the most say in the direction our country takes, and that really scares me. Have you seen the latest 'joke' commercial mentioning a cryo system for your pet? Even though it says quite plainly on the screen 'not a real product', one of my friends tried to order one. Saying all along, 'Just you wait, we'll have 'em for people in a few more years, they probabaly got 'em already'.

Can you give a Darwin Award to someone who depletes the gene pool just by existing? Or must they actually do something stupid? If we have cryo technology in the next few years, at least I know who to freeze first.

jlhredshift
2006-Jul-18, 06:51 PM
I figured it out...

They just now read "Worlds in Collision" by I. Velikovsky

PhantomWolf
2006-Jul-19, 04:19 AM
I know far too many people that take for fact stuff that is at best tabloidal in nature and questionable in accuracy or even veracity.

It's worse that that. They openly swallow the trash that a 5-year old could see through and stick their fingers in their ears and scream "nanananananananananana" when the real world is presented.

hhEb09'1
2006-Jul-19, 06:16 AM
It is possible for mars to come as close as 54 million kilometers to the earth. (Although this is extremely rare, once every 20,000 years or so. It averages about 78 million kilometers on close approaches.) It doesn't come close often, but it was only 56 million km away in August of 2003--according to the BA (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/news/marsattacks.html), that was the closest in 60,000 years, but was only 1/2 million farther in 1971.
This is still about 150 times as far as the moon. Even as the closest approach it will never approach anything like the apparent size of the moon from earth.The email made its rounds in 2003--originally, the copy I got, was accurate. It was mutilated as it made it's rounds, until it was nearly unreadable. But some people still managed to believe the mangled result :)

mattweather
2006-Jul-19, 06:21 AM
Whoa thats pretty close! Well i think it 50:50 chance to see that happens or not? Maybe Mars coming back again as like it happened back in 2003.

Tobin Dax
2006-Jul-19, 06:42 AM
Whoa thats pretty close! Well i think it 50:50 chance to see that happens or not? Maybe Mars coming back again as like it happened back in 2003.

Orbits are predictable. We know when Mars will be close to us next and how close it will be. I don't think it will be that close again anytime soon (IIRC).

Kaptain K
2006-Jul-19, 06:59 AM
Mars oppositions occur approximately every 26 months. The next one will be in early 2008. It will not be as close as the one in late 2005, much less the one in 2003.

hhEb09'1
2006-Jul-19, 07:20 AM
Mars oppositions occur approximately every 26 months. The next one will be in early 2008. It will not be as close as the one in late 2005, much less the one in 2003.It'll be much less than the one in 2003??! look out! Just kidding

tony873004
2006-Jul-19, 07:22 AM
Orbits are predictable. We know when Mars will be close to us next and how close it will be. I don't think it will be that close again anytime soon (IIRC).
Positions of Mars oppositions (1999 - 2007)
http://orbitsimulator.com/BA/mars1.GIF

Kepler's Pretzel (Earth-centered universe) positions of Mars oppositions (1999-2007)
http://orbitsimulator.com/BA/mars2.GIF

The positions of Earth and Mars in August 2006
http://orbitsimulator.com/BA/mars3.GIF

Ronald Brak
2006-Jul-19, 09:10 AM
It doesn't come close often, but it was only 56 million km away in August of 2003--according to the BA, that was the closest in 60,000 years, but was only 1/2 million farther in 1971.

I pulled a couple of figures of the net and quickly calculated 54 million kilometers years every 20,000 years, and I'm not terribly surprised that I'm a bit off. But what's 2 million kilometers and 40,000 years between friends?