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Mutating Mars Hoax at it Yet Again


This one is giving Orson Welles' 1938 radio production of The War of the Worlds a good run for the money.

For the seventh consecutive year, phony messages are filling up email inboxes around the world warning that on August 27th Mars will approach Earth and grow to the size of a full Moon. "NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN," the email declares--all in capital letters.

And no, it's not true.

But the Mars hoax has reached such epidemic proportions that NASA saw fit to send out an email late Tuesday night, reminding people that come Aug. 27, Mars will be "314 million km from Earth, about as far away as it can get."

As with so many pop culture bromides, there's a grain of truth to this one. In 2003, Mars actually did swell to unusual proportions and on August 27th of that year, the Red Planet came within 56 million kilometers of Earth. That was nearest it has been in 60,000 years. That's when the emails began - and they show no sign of stopping this year. Get your delete key ready, just in case.

On Aug. 27, here's how stargazers can find Mars NASA