No, this August, Mars will not appear as big as the full moon in Earth's sky...

...Unless you are viewing Mars through a telescope and the Moon with the naked eye.

It's that time of year again, August, when since 2003 the chain-email-turned-social-media-meme comes around announcing that for a single night, Earth will have two moons. But wait. That's no second moon, it's the planet Mars!

The latest incarnation I've seen trolling around Facebook.

No one alive today has ever witnessed this happening—because it has never happened, despite people spreading this claim each August for over a decade. I don't remember when I first started hearing it, but the oldest message I can find in my Gmail archive dates back to 2005.

I never delete a Gmail, and now that's finally paid off.

And again in 2009.

I had to cut a lot of empty space out of this one. It seems to have been forwarded many times.

But that time, I pushed back.

For Science! And please excuse the bad writing—this was almost a decade ago.

To seemingly no avail.

Well, shit.

But alas, not all hope was lost. Notice that the person who kept sending me this email, P, this time asked,

Is this true? Mars will appear as big as the moon?
— P

To which I replied,

Why is this so hard to read? Well, to summarize, no, Mars will not appear to be as big as the full moon.

And thankfully, this time, the message got through.

Alas, I reached one person, making it all worth it.

Alas, I reached one person, making it all worth it.

So, please, fight the good fight. Whenever you see anyone claim that "Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye," send them this post, then send them to Snopes, then send them this picture.

Please, for the good of humanity.

Please, for the good of humanity.