Hoax alert: Mars won’t be visible as second moon in the sky!
Several messages circulating on social media platforms are trying to fool people into believing that Mars will be as bright as the moon and will be the same size of Earth’s natural satellite and the duo will be visible side by side; however, it’s just a hoax.
NASA has tried again and again to debunk this hoax ever since 2003. NASA says that this hoax become alive every time Mars makes a close approach and this is something that people need to understand because Mars on an average is million of kilometers away – 225.3 million km to be precise.
While in its orbit, the Red Planet does make a close approach to the Earth, but the closest it can get is 54.6 million km, while its farthest distance is about 401 million km. On the other hand the distance between Earth and Moon on an average is 363,104 kilometers.
If we compare the closest distance of Mars and average distance of Moon, the Red planet is still 150 times as far from the Earth as the moon. Further, Mars is just about twice as big as the moon. The only way Mars would have been visible from Earth as being of the same size as moon would have been if it was at a distance of just over 720,000 km from Earth; however, that’s not the case.
Next, say if Mars and Earth were this close, gravitational pull from the two planets would have led the two planets to either change orbit because of gravitational pull or would have had collided into one another long before this day and age.
The closest the two planets got to each other in 60,000 years was on August 27, 2003 at 9:51 UTC when the two planets were at a distance of 55,758,006 km (34,646,418 miles) from center to center. NASA says that was the closest that the two planets will be until August 28, 2287!
We urge our readers to dismiss reports claiming that Mars will look like the second moon in the sky as just a Hoax. If you do want to view Mars in greater clarity, you may want to checkout Celestron 21062 Astrometer 70EQ Refractor Telescope or National Geographic 70/900 Refractor Telescope with Multi Purpose Mount or something similar.