Washington, Aug 23 (ANI): It's a tradition that comes on the same day, year after year - an email, which claims that planet Mars is going to come so close to the Earth, it will appear as big as the moon.
First, a little bit of background information on the phenomenon - planets in the solar system revolve around the Sun in an elliptical orbit - suggesting that the distance between planets varies with time.
According to Discovery News, August 27, 2003 was one such occasion when Mars and Earth were especially close; a distance of 55.7 million kilometres compared to our current distance of approximately 313 million kilometres.
However, over the years, this theory has been mangled and twisted in such a manner that it gives an entirely different picture.
The email did the rounds and many unsuspecting readers looked out for a huge Mars in the sky as big as a full moon.
However, if that were the case, it would be a mere 800,000 kilometres away not the 55.7 million kilometres as it was in 2003 and certainly not the current 313 million kilometres.
So there are no circumstances under which the hoax email is true.
More importantly, at such a close proximity, Mars would wreak havoc on Earth with gravitational forces and tidal impacts, and if that happened, it would erase the very sign of humanity from the planet. (ANI)