Mars is not approaching this August

July 24, 2006

Mars 27 August 2003_Hubble Space Telescope

There is an email circulating in cyberspace saying that the red planet Mars will be exceptionally close on 27 August (2006). According to one version “It will look like the Earth has two moons”!!!

Once again this is a good lesson in not believing everything on the Internet. The email is a hoax describing in a somewhat exaggerated fashion the events of 2003. On 27 August 2003 Mars was only 55.8 million kilometres away which is almost the closest possible distance it can be from Earth. To the unaided eye it looked like a shining red beacon while through a telescope a small red disc could be seen with some dark features visible. Above is a great picture of the planet by the Hubble Space Telescope taken on 27 August 2003.

In late August this year (2006) Mars is faint and just visible after sunset low in the western sky.

139 responses to “Mars is not approaching this August

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  • Very Interesting!
    My partner has been talking about it for days now to everyone we know as so many people have told him Mars is coming and even claimed to have seen an article in the herald.
    Always a good idea to check your facts with a reliable source I say to avoid chinese whispers getting out of control.

  • On August 28 we had a few visitors arrive at Sydney Observatory eager to see the red planet. Unfortunately we were not able to show them Mars, however, they did get a very good view of Jupiter and its moons.

  • Wow me and a bunch of buddies went to an open field drank some beers and waited for mars to show its face but no dice…Oh well still got to have some beers i was excited to see mars but what ever

  • Well… I actually took a drive to have a look as I could not find mars and even more scary… no moon as well…

  • well, well, I must be blonde.. I stayed up to watch ‘the red planet’ and I was going to wake my kids so they wouldn’t miss out. But luckily for bad weather, we decided not to go out and wake the kids. I jumped on the net tonight when I got home, as I have not heard a thing about it today. I came accross “this” website and yep well you know the rest. !!!I’M BLONDE!!!

  • Hey, they announced this on a radio in NZ about a month ago. I was gullible and told my best mate. She and I didn’t see anything and decided it was a hoax. We had a giggle about it all day today. Next time I’ll check it out.

  • well,,, just got home from the stadium after awakening my 7 and 2 yr old to see the cool planet of mars,,, it was great! long drive, and not even a moon out. the sad news is that our local newspaper even was hoaxed,
    hoaxed in tx.

  • I am sure glad i read about this now!! Me and my friends stayed up to look at mars and we stood out in the field for about an hour. I told like 100 people. O well, a good story it will be. Thanks for the info about it. Scott – North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC, USA

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