Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mars Spectacular

Times of India
20 August 2008

Mars hoax mails flood planetarium website

KOLKATA: A hoax e-mail has kept the telephones at MP Birla Planetarium ringing incessantly for the past couple of days. "I received over 50 calls on Tuesday, all referring to a mysterious e-mail titled 'Mars Spectacular' saying the Red Planet will come so close to the Earth on August 27 that it will look as large as the moon. This is totally false and baseless," said an exasperated Debiprosad Duari, director (research & academic) at the planetarium. [...]

Gulf News [United Arab Emirates]
22 August 2008

UAE astronomers reject rumours of 'second moon'

[...] A senior official at the Emirates Astronomical Society and Chairman of the Islamic Moon Observatory Project. Mohammad Shoukat Oudha, said the rumour has been triggered by the fact that Mars becomes brighter every 780 days on its orbit between the sun and Earth.

Mars might appear brighter but it will not be larger than usual to the naked eye this year.

"By the will of God, this may happen in the year 2287 AD. [! -- bc]

"Mars will appear in the sky as large as a full moon, giving mankind a feeling that Earth has two moons, one in the east and the other in the west," Oudha predicted.