Sunday, August 28, 2005

Mars is Spectacular!

"The Red Planet is about to be spectacular! This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 29th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.

By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30 a.m. That's pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month. Share this with your children and grandchildren. NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN"


This is an example of an Urban Legend (One of my worst pet peeves) I received in an email at the end of last month. You always get emails like this with some outrageous claim that seems impossible. There are too many examples to point out. And I am too lazy to post another one.

There are so many on the web though that there are whole websites dedicated to proving them wrong.

Now I don't want to share with you who it was that sent me this email. Because he knows who he was. Right dad :p But come on... Mars as big as the Moon in the night sky? I admit I fell for it at first but I didn't go as far as to forward the email without proof.

Most of the time when you get emails claiming that you will get money from Bill Gates if you send the email to all your friends or a little fairy will dance across the screen if you send this message to 10 people or Yahoo! will shut down your account if you don't forward the email to everyone in your address book... You can pretty much tell they are fakes. If you can't, just copy some text from the email and do a search with google or something. You will know pretty quick if it is a hoax. As a matter of fact I have a pretty keen eye for these hoaxes and the only one I was wrong about was this email about a Giant Liger (half lion - half tiger) named Hercules I guess he is actually real Watch out Roy! According to Napoleon Dynamite it's bred for its skills in magic. Which I would have to call B-ll Sh-t on. Sorry Napoleon.

Anyways, do your part. If you get an unbelievable email there is probably a reason. Check out http://www.snopes.com for your answer if you are unsure. The example I posted above has been in circulation for over 2 years now. Just to let you know though.... if you are into star gazing the Earth will be very close to Mars in October if you really want to check it out try then. You might as well look up while you are out smashing pumpkins and egging the ever loving crap out of [insert your worst enemy's name here]'s house. But don't let your guard down by staring at the sky the cops will be watching you. Actually just don't do that... cause I probably have a lot of enemies and I don't want my place egged. Besides it's more fun to chase around little kids with a chain saw with the blade removed... Wait... don't do that either. Better to just stay in your house and do nothing on Halloween because now days kids aren't allowed to have fun. Why am I talking about Halloween?

I will save Halloween for October...

Anyways I hear that there is a nasty Hurricane heading towards New Orleans. It will be fun to watch the stupid news reporters try to get the "scoop". I really despise the media these days... I do hope none of the dumb ass people that decide to stay get hurt. There are always those people that are too stubborn to leave. That City is probably due for a bath (good word Heath better than my baptism but both serve the same purpose) if you ask me anyways. Not that I have ever been there but I think that may have been where Girls Gone Wild was born.

As far as news from my neck of the lack of woods... The constitution was "finished" today. Lets hope that everyone can try to agree on it. Because I have been working my butt off for that thing! Well not really... That's only a half truth. I have finished reading Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer (not Brad Pitt), an awesome read! and am starting on Wizard and Glass the forth book of the Dark Tower Series by Steven King. Then, I plan on reading, The Talisman and well lets just see if I get that far...

It's still dry as a bone here. The weather has been a cool 85 degrees or so at night with about 115 during the day every day. I wish the Hurricane was hitting here instead.

Two last things...

  1. It's the 29th here... and Mars wasn't spectacular!

  2. and sorry for dogging you out like that before dad :p

11 Comments:

  • Gee whiz it took you only a month to get around to reading my email.
    And I didn't think you even gave a crap.
    GLP

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20:03  

  • Your email? I don't think you can call it yours if you didn't write it :p. What makes you think I didn't read it till last night. It was reffering to last night. or didn't you read it.

    By Blogger SGT Port, at 23:51  

  • I hate those emails too, especially the ones about "keep this a secret, but I have money to get to USA"....haha
    I use snoops on a lot of checking. It's a good site.
    Take care, keep your head down. God bless

    By Blogger Chevy Rose, at 08:55  

  • Actually, a few years ago, Mars was at it's closest point to the Earth and my daughter and I dragged out the telescope and admired it on many nights. But it wasn't last night or won't be tonight.

    By Blogger LL, at 09:51  

  • The email does say ...

    At a modest 75-power magnification Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.

    The email was from 2003. When Mars was about 75 times smaller than the moon (hense the 75-power magnification). This year it is about 90 times smaller and largest around Nov. 1. But, it will be easier to see than it was in 2003 because it will be higher in the sky (less atmospheric interference).

    Anyway, if you stayed out till about 00:30 the 27th in the east you would have seen a really beautiful red half moon with Mars just off to its upper right.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:02  

  • You're funny, Luke... it's fun to listen to you ramble...A.Rhonda

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 14:14  

  • Well my comment is (you didn't want to share who had sent this e-mail to you) and then you stated who did on your Blog where everyone reads it! I think that is beneath you! Sorry! Your mistake you fell for it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20:51  

  • Well my comment is, Anonymous, I think my dad knows how to take a joke, especially from me. Maybe you haven't lived on Earth for the last couple decades but saying you are not going to reveal someone‚Äôs name and then stating it right after is like the oldest joke in the book. My dad and I tease each other all the time and he has a lot more material to use on me than I do him. So hearing that "that is beneath me" from some anonymous person who to wasn't there the day God handed out your their sense of humor doesn't really bother me.

    By Blogger SGT Port, at 03:52  

  • HAHA I think A LOT of people missed out when God was handing out personality. Love your ramblings. Stay safe! ~Amanda

    By Blogger ahunter_1, at 09:00  

  • Ok luke, where did my comment go to GLP. He knows I'm kidding. Lar C. Oh never mind maby it didn't get published because of the new security code. It is there to keep us all safe right.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 22:26  

  • Yeah, the security code is just to verify that you are an actual person posting and not some bot that is trying to sell me Viagra. Or health insurance.

    By Blogger SGT Port, at 01:18  

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