A possible Hoax?

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georelrod

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I got an email from a relative tonight that said:<br /><br />"Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars<br />may come this close is in 2287."... and<br /><br />"The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky"... and finally<br /><br />"Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m."<br /><br />Ok, so here is the question: Is this true, cause it sounds a little too good to be true! As large as a fullmoon, I am having a hard time believeing that, but I thought I would ask here before I dismissed it entirely.<br />
 
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petepan

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I think your friend has his figures wrong.<br />From this site http://www.spacedaily.com/news/mars-general-03i.html, i found this...<br /><br />"We won't have to wait as long for the next passage of Mars that will be so close. Mark your calendar for August 28, 2287.<br /><br />However, for all practical purposes in terms of how Mars will look, it came nearly as close in 1988. That year it reached an apparent diameter of 23.8 arcseconds as seen in a telescope; this year it will top out at 25.1 arcseconds wide (the angular size of a penny seen at a distance of 500 feet). And Mars will make another good pass by Earth in October 2005, appearing 20.2 arcseconds wide."<br /><br />BTW, the full moon, at closest approach is roughly 31-32 arc seconds (<i>i think thats right</i>)<br /><br />
 
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CalliArcale

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You are correct that Mars won't look as big as the full moon. If it ever did, we would probably be in very serious trouble. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> That would mean that it, or the Earth, had been seriously deflected off of its normal orbit. It was probably a misunderstanding when some astronomer said that Mars could look as big as the moon does to the naked eye when Mars is viewed through a backyard telescope. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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votefornimitz

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This must be the work of Sol's nemisis, Nemisis! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <span style="color:#993366">In the event of a full scale nuclear war or NEO impact event, there are two categories of underground shelters available to the public, distinguished by depth underground: bunkers and graves...</span> </div>
 
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petepan

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oops, my bad. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />I thought it didn't look right when i wrote it, (was in bit of a rush)<br /><br />Cheers
 
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spacester

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True enough, totally true, but that point of light was BRIGHT! I really enjoyed the summer of 2003. Every time I'd look up for Mars, BAM! there was this big bright red dot. Very cool times we live in. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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spacester

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<font color="yellow">The next time it gets that close will be August 28, 2287. </font><br /><br />Hmmm... going by memory, I thought it was going to get even closer in, um IIRC around 2038 than in 2003, by just a tad. It will get a lot closer in 2287 than 2003, but we have another modern record coming up within a few decades I thought. Anyone know for sure? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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