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Mars Radiation to Impact Earth Tonight? Hoax Message Going Viral on Mobiles

NASA's next mission to Mars, the InSight lander, will study the deep interior of Mars to advance understanding of the early history of all rocky planets, including Earth. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An unconfirmed WhatsApp Message is making rounds on mobiles that tonight, August 28, 2015 will witness Mars moving closer to Earth and its rays will be direct and nearer than usual.

The widely circulated message says, “NASA warns all mobile users to keep phones away while sleeping tonight between 12:30 AM to 3:30 am IST.”

The message further reads that the reason was “Mars moves close to Earth and may release high amount of radiation.” But every August such mobile messages or hoax e-mails make their way to keep people awake or terrified at the doomsday prophecy. NASA has grown vexed with such hoax messages that it has stopped responding to them since 2005.

It may be recalled that on July 7, 2005 similar message was sent saying, “Earth is catching up with Mars [for] the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. On August 27th … Mars will look as large as the full moon” and ended with the message in capital letters: “NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN.”

The message was proved a big hoax. Similarly, Mars was closest to earth at 56 million kilometers, nearest ever in history and visible to naked eye. Mars looks like a big star when it is in the range of about 56 to 70 million KM but certainly not as wide as the Moon.

Since it is moving closer to Earth doesn’t mean that it would impact us with radiation, as Mars radiation is one reason why going to Mars is as dangerous as walking into a nuclear reactor unaided with suitable clothing.

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