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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Moon Will NOT Be As Big As Mars On July 27 2018, Does NOT Happen Every 35,000 Years

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 23 Jul 2018 21:36:43 Z)

Will the planet Mars appear to be just as big as the Moon on July 27, 2018 and is this a phenomenon that only happens once every 35,000 years? No, that's total nonsense, it is not true. But a post from a French website making that claim went massively viral today even though it carried a disclaimer saying it was made up. A translated version from the English version of the site was also put up but it did not go viral yet.

The story originated from an article published by Science Info on July 23, 2018 titled "Un événement cosmique qui n'arrive que tous les 35 000 ans : le 27 juillet 2018, la planète Mars sera aussi grosse que la Lune" (archived here) which opened:

Deux Lunes dans le ciel du 27 Juillet ! La prochaine fois que cet événement cosmique se reproduira, cela sera en 36 996 ......Partagez au maximum cette information avec vos amis car AUCUN être humain vivant aujourd'hui ne pourra contempler ce phénomène incroyable une seconde fois. Le 27 juillet, vers minuit, n'oubliez pas de lever la ...

Screenshot of http://www.scienceinfo.fr/le-27-juillet-la-planete-mars-sera-aussi-grosse-que-la-lune/

The English version of the article went like this:

A cosmic event that only happens every 35,000 years: July 27, 2018, the planet Mars will be as big as the Moon

Two moons in the sky on July 27! The next time this cosmic event will happen again, will be 36,996 ......Share this information as much as possible with your friends because NO human being alive today will be able to behold this incredible phenomenon a second time.

However Scienceinfo.fr carries following text on its "about" page:

Voilà, il suffit juste d'être un peu curieux et de cliquer sur ce lien pour découvrir que ce site d'information scientifique publie des informations totalement fausses, voire archifausses et en plus, même pas vraies.

Qu'on se le dise une fois pour toutes : le site ScienceInfo.fr est un site parodique, satirique, anxiogène et sans gêne.

Toutes les informations exposées sont, malheureusement pour certaines et heureusement pour d'autres, inventées de toutes pièces.

Bref, tout est faux. Cela va des noms et citations attribués à des personnes imaginaires ou sociétés imaginées.

Quand aux actions et citations attribuées à des personnes existantes - ainsi que les faits les concernant - elles sont évidemment fausses et imaginées pour renforcer le caractère ubuesque des articles.

Bref, ne croyez pas tout ce que l'on vous raconte et à plus forte raison tout ce que vous lisez sur internet. Soyez vigilants ... et pensez à sourire 🙂

This is basically the same text which can be found on the "about" page of scienceinfo.news, the English version of the site:

This ScienceInfo.news website is the English version of the French ScienceInfo.fr scientific information website.

Now, all you need is to be just a little curious and click on this link to find out that this scientific information site publishes totally false or sensationally fake information, which is, moreover, not true at all.

Let it be said once and for all: the site ScienceInfo.news is a parody, satirical, unnerving and shameless site.

All information presented herein is, unfortunately for some and fortunately for others, totally fabricated.

In short, everything here is false. This includes names and quotes attributed to imaginary people or companies.

If the activites and quotes are attributed to real people as well as real facts about them, they are obviously false and devised to emphasize the grotesque nature of articles.

In short, do not believe everything you are told and, even more so, everything you read on the internet. Keep alert... and remember to smile

Just for reference: the moon is about 238,855 miles away from Earth, while the shortest distance between Earth and Mars is about 33.9 million miles (but usually it is way more). That's more than 140 times as far. The diameter of Mars is only about twice that of the Moon. So they can't ever have the same size in the sky unless something really dramatic happened to the orbits of either Mars or the Moon.

However, don't despair just yet: there will be something to see in the sky on July 27, 2018 because there will be a full lunar eclipse, meaning the Moon will completely pass through the shadow of Earth, making it go dark temporarily.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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