Psalm 19:1
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”

Every so often, a picture appears on social media platforms showing two “Moons” in the night sky of approximately the same apparent size. This, it is claimed, will be the scene when the planet Mars is at its closest approach to Earth.

The rumor is thought to have started in the weeks leading up to August 27th, 2003, when Mars was indeed at a point in its orbit closest to where Earth was. On that night, Mars appeared slightly brighter and, perhaps, a very little larger than normal. However, it was nowhere near the apparent size of the Moon, nor could it have been. As Mars is approximately twice the real diameter of the Moon, it would have to be about two times the distance of the Moon from the Earth to appear the same size. That would make it 452,000 miles from Earth. In fact, Mars never comes closer than just under 35 million miles.

Why do such hoaxes appear? It is probably because of a lack of logical knowledge about space – especially nearby space, in our Solar System. Many Christians have got used to the fact that there is poor science out there – notably evolutionary and deep-time theories – which are not observed, and, in practice, are impossible. But astronomy – observing our night sky – is a biblical pursuit, commended by the psalmist. It would behoove Christians to examine the heavens to see what they reveal about the glory of God.

Prayer: Father, we thank You for the fascination of looking at Your heavens. While there are some who observe but do not seek Your face, we marvel at the magnificence of Your creation. Amen.

Author: Paul F. Taylor

Ref: < >, accessed 9/1/2020. Image: Genuine close approach of Moon and Mars, August 27, 2005, CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported.


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