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    Re: How to See Mars Opposition
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2018 Jul 27, 11:24 -0700

    Saving some NavList reader a little embarrassment, that site that Dave linked is a "parody" site making a little joke around the old story about "Mars as big as the Moon". There are many of these so-called parody sites, and most of them post articles that are intentionally absurd or infuriating (in worse cases, intentionally racist, nationalist, etc.) to serve as clickbait. This one is not an especially funny parody. There's no reason to click on it --unless you feel like generating some ad-revenue for the owners of the site. Here are some key bits from it:

    A cosmic event that only happens every 35,000 years: July 27, 2018, the planet Mars will be as big as the Moon
    On July 27, around midnight, do not forget to raise your head and look into the sky: Mars will be the most brilliant star in the sky. This is because it will have an apparent diameter as big as the Full Moon! It will be possible to observe, with the naked eye, a cosmic phenomenon which will allow the inhabitants of the Earth to behold … two moons!
    This is the first time that humanity will be able to observe this exceptional phenomenon. The last planet Mars proximity of such magnitude dates back to exactly 34,978 years, the Neolithic period during which Neanderthal and Homo habilis, the distant ancestors of Homo sapiens, coexisted together. Species to which the human race – or more precisely, mankind – belongs today.
    Indeed, the elliptical orbit of the giant Jupiter has a complex apochromatic altazimutal velocity for which the cyclo-parabolic projection (adjusted Lambert benchmark) is affected by a singular analemmic anomaly modifying the apside line (Editor’s note: the line joining the apocenter at the orbital periastron) which crosses precisely the orbit of the asterism of the planet Mars. The peculiarity of this recurrent phenomenon (commonly called “circumstellar elliptic conjunction of coercive neuronal elongation” among astrologers) is to allow the planet Mars to be projected into the telluric zone of solar attraction as a projectile ” launched from a sling ” and this, exactly every 34 978 years!

    None of this is true, of course. It's a joke. Is it a funny joke? Well.... barely. The techno-babble would work on some people. Is it funny that the article suggests Homo habilis was around 35 thousand years ago?? Well... barely. 

    Frank Reed

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