Mars’s Short Distance From Earth Proves To Be Hoax

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Gabe Thomas Contributor

The last few weeks many people have heard that Mars would be close enough to Earth on August 24th that it would be the same size as the Moon in the night sky. Unfortunately, this is actually a hoax.

According to Georgia Southern astronomy professor Clayton Heller, the hoax dates back to 2003, when Mars can be seen in the night sky because it is opposite of the sun. This caused the planet to appear closer than normal and an email went around telling people they could get a great view. This eventually turned into the hoax of Mars being the same size as the moon in the night sky.

According to Heller, it is not even possible to for Mars to look the same size as the Moon.

“To make Mars the same size as the moon it would have to be 5,000 miles away,” Heller said. “The closest Mars can get is 34 million miles away.”

Not only is it not possible for Mars to be as big as the moon in the night sky, Heller said that there is no opposition right now. According to, in late August and early September Mars will be out in the predawn sky, but not at night.

August 2020 guide to the bright planets