Hoax About Two Moons on August 27: Moon and Mars Close This August 2010?- The email about the “two moons” or a “double moon” has began circulating once again through the internet. The original email dates back in August 27, 2003 when two moons indeed appeared in the sky. Aside from the actual natural moon that we usually see in the sky at night, the red planet Mars served as the other moon that time as it had its closest encounter with our planet Earth.
Mars appeared to be the second moon in the sky that time as it came within 34,649,589 miles of Earth. There were several versions of the email which circulated during that time. One example can be found here. Accordingly, Mars will have a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. By using a telescope, Mars will look as large as the full moon through the naked eye in its 75 power magnification. Below is a sample of the picture of the two moons which appeared in the sky on August 27, 2003
If you ever received such an email again referring to the occurrence of two moons today, August 27, 2010, just delete it as there will never be a second moon that will appear in the sky tonight. In fact, NASA stated that today, August 27, 2010, Mars will be 314 million kilometers from Earth, about as far away as it can get. That distance was very far compared to that of the distance between Earth and Mars which happened seven years ago. Mars will shine in the western sky after sunset like a tiny red star of ordinary brightness. If you didn’t know it was there, you probably wouldn’t notice.
What is fact is that the possible occurrence of such “two moons” in the sky will be in the year 2287 of which definitely, all of us living today will be dead by that time. If you still persists and want to see Mars today, August 27, 2010, NASA advises to go outside of your home and face west. You will see a bright light shining. That is not yet Mars. That is the planet Venus. Get a telescope and look for nearby celestial bodies around Venus. A few degrees to the right, you will see a little orange star-like object and that is Mars.