The email claims that on the 27 August, the planet Mars will appear bigger than the moon thanks to an optical effect on the atmosphere.
Telly outfit ABC said that people have been ringing up its weather office to see if the skies will be clear enough for them to see it.
Patrick Wiggins, NASA Ambassador to Utah – no, really – told the ABC hack who rang up about it to find out if was true, that he got called up by the media every year on this daft hoax.
True he deals with the Utah press and some of them think that Jesus discovered America and wrote down his family tree on some gold tablets which have mysteriously disappeared.
Wiggins said it first started in 2003 when Mars was the closest it had been to earth since humanity started to make a splash and heat up the ice caps.
ABC felt the need to tell viewers that even back in 2003 Mars was still nowhere near the size of the Moon.
“Even at its historic closest it still looked like a tiny dot in the sky,” said Wiggins, we assume with the same air of someone who has just told a 45 year old that Donald Duck is a cartoon character.
Even with the telescopes though Wiggins says Mars still won’t look as big as the Moon.
Then the reporter, who clearly will not let the story go during silly season, asks what happens if Mars did get close enough to look as big as the moon,
To his credit, Wiggins did not kill the hack in a desperate bid to raise the average IQ of the world.
Instead he said, very slowly, “if you ever did look up and saw Mars as big as the full Moon that’s probably one of the last things that human kind would see. Because that means Mars is coming to get us.”
He said every year Americans go out to see the big Mars “and they’re disappointed.”
Wiggins said it is probably better if people just delete the email and don’t forward it to anyone.