Sunday, Oct 26, 2014

When it comes to hoaxes, twin-moon phenomenon is right up there

moon-M Earth can never be Tatooine (a planet with two suns) from the Star Wars galaxy. (Source: IE archive)
Written by Leela Prasad | New Delhi | Posted: August 24, 2014 10:54 am | Updated: August 24, 2014 11:12 am

In 2003, an email circulated among the few that had mail accounts, promising the reader that he/she would rejoice a once-in-a-lifetime celestial experience. The contents of the mail read that Mars would balloon into a big red dot in the sky — as big as the moon itself. This was branded as the twin-moon effect. It was debunked as a hoax, just like the many other imaginative hoaxes that homo sapiens dream in their sleep.

Had the twin-moon phenomenon been a human being, it would have turned 11 today. The mail, bizarrely,  is still in circulation. It has resurfaced again, enticing its readers to lose sleep on August 27th midnight. It is like that kid who cried wolf.

The email claims that Mars will be 34.65 million miles from earth, but a space agency debunked its claims saying that on August 27th  the red planet will be 125.28 million miles away. The agency rubbished the email claiming that “Mars will be very bright and like the moon everyone can see it with naked eyes” because it will set at midnight. And, moreover, there will not be a full moon on that day.

So amateur astronomers can stop dusting their telescopes; rest assured, earth can never be Tatooine (a planet with two suns) from the Star Wars galaxy.

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