An eclipse wrongly called a double moon? Or is it Mars?
As Molly's Blog points out
As Molly has made plain in a previous post (see' What's All This Double Moon Stuff' earlier today) there will not be either any "double Moon" or "double eclipse" on the upcoming lunar eclipse in the early morning of August 28th. It will be the regular and ordinary lunar eclipse.
And the Mars post circulating by email, appears to be based on events in the recent past.
Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August.
It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. This will cultivate on Aug. 27 when Mars comes within 34.65 Million miles of earth.
Be sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 12:30 am. It will look like the earth has 2 moons.
The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.
The text of this rumor was roughly accurate when it first began circulating in the summer of 2003, outdated when it went around again in 2005, and just plain false when it appeared for the third time in 2006. It is now 2007, and making the rounds again. How many times can a "once in a lifetime" event occur?
The oscillating orbits of Mars and Earth did, in fact, bring the two planets closer together on August 27, 2003 than at any other time during the past 50,000 years. Though Mars never actually appeared "as large as the full moon" -- not even close -- for a few days in 2003 it was indeed the brightest object in the night sky.
On August 27 of that year, the orbital paths of Earth and Mars brought the two planets to within 34.65 million miles of one another -- closer than at any other time in the past 50,000 years. Though Mars never actually appeared "as large as the full moon to the naked eye" (as claimed in the email), the red planet did vividly dominate the night sky for a time, making 2003's close encounter a once-in-a-lifetime event indeed for astronomers, space enthusiasts, and ordinary observers alike.
Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
August 28, eclipse, hoax, mars, moon, lunar eclipse, Space, Science,