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Liz Bickel | all galleries >> Nature: Multiple Galleries >> Sunrise to Dark of Night: Multiple Galleries >> Moon > Mars is as Big as the Moon 2018
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31-July-2018 copyright Elizabeth Bickel

Mars is as Big as the Moon 2018

The two photos (in this composite) are each real and as shot individually JPG.
Mars was photographed on July 31, 2018 high in the sky.
The Moon was photographed on July 29th, 2018 as it was rising.

However, even as close as Mars was to the Earth this weekend
(Mars won't get this close again for another 265 years),
the title of this image (and the size comparison above) represent an age old hoax.
In real life - as seen from Earth - Mars will NEVER really look as big as the moon.
Nevertheless, that story (a hoax) is once again going around on the Internet.
That story remains not true.

This hoax originally started back in 2003 when Mars came even closer to the Earth than in 2018.
In 2003, Mars came about 35 million miles (56 million km) from Earth. That was the closest the two planets have been in almost 60,000 years!

is a photograph I took of that 2003 event.

The 2003 photograph shows the true size of Mars and the Moon together. This was back when Mars was the closest it will ever be in many, many thousands of years; plus in ever far more lifetimes. The 2003 event was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Those of us who witnessed it witnessed history.

My 2003 photo (a single shot) naturally occurred and was photographed exactly as seen. It was not a composite like the one above. That capture still amazes me.

Mars coming close to the earth in 2003 also provided a an additional special astro treat with Mars and the full Moon aligning relatively close together. Taken with a humble 2 Megapixel, 10x zoom Bridge Camera, the 2003 photo is 100% as Nature presented the scene. In that photo, you can see the real size difference between the Moon and Mars. Here is my mini photo gallery from 2003:

I wish I had had the same opportunity for a similar photo this year. But I didn't. Still, I was happy to get a closer look at Mars in 2018 with the new generation P900 camera. Although the Nikon P900 images lack a lot of detail, it was amazing to just be able to zoom in & take a close up photo of Mars without a telescope.

Truthfully, merely looking at red Mars in the sky with the naked eye was also a treat.
Besides looking larger (due to it being closer to the Earth), Mars was also brighter than normal.
The Red Planet twinkled like a jewel in the night sky. I hope that you all had (or will have) a chance to also see Mars in close proximity to the Earth.

Although Mars was closest to the Earth last night, the show should still continue for a few more days.

other sizes: small medium large original auto
carol j. phipps03-Aug-2018 00:37
Outstanding! My camera only captured Mars as a shiny spot but fun to see. This is outstanding! V
woody3402-Aug-2018 01:09
A wonderful image, and WOW you have done your background work..and yes I think the P900 is great..V
Hank Vander Velde01-Aug-2018 20:52
BEAUTIFUL image and great info Liz.
danad01-Aug-2018 15:17
A fantastic work ! V.
Robert Houde01-Aug-2018 13:47
Very nice composite and interesting text.
Jim Coffman01-Aug-2018 13:46
Wow, what a great image, Liz...
Helen Betts01-Aug-2018 11:55
Fascinating composite image, and interesting information.