Yay! It has been a long, looooooong time since I got a chain e-mail full of nonsense that I could blast out of the water. Today I received the following e-mail and I instantly had to brace my arms against the desk to prevent myself from crashing my forehead into the pine-effect finish.
Here is the original e-mail in all its multi-colour font glory:
Share this with your friends,as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it again.
Two Suns on 21June 2011
Star Aderoid will be the brightest in the sky, starting 10 June. It will look as large as the sun from naked eye. This will culminate on 21stJune when the star comes within 34.65M miles of the earth. Be sure to watch the sky on june. 21 at 12:30 pm. It will look like the earth has 2 suns.!!
The next time Aderoid may come this close is in 2287
Yeah! Right On Man! Right On!
Right… Do I really have to point out to anybody that this is not true? This e-mail cannot possibly reflect any state of reality in which we exist. Why? Well, it’s relatively simple really, and I will quickly point out to you exactly what makes me so confident that this e-mail is about as reliable as an Andorian who shows up right on time to help you steal a super-weapon from under the nose of your nemesis (don’t click that link if you are watching Star Trek Enterprise for the first time).
First of all, this e-mail claims to alert you to an astronomical event just a little too similar to the indestructible annual hoax e-mail which claims that Mars will come so close to the Earth that it will appear the same size as the full moon. I have thoroughly addressed that cartload of manure over here.
There are a number of red (and green, and purple, and blue) flags in this particular e-mail which should immediately convince you that it is suspicious, and the most obvious is the horrendous formatting. Serious news is never presented in multiple colours and sizes, with seemingly random sprinkles of punctuation and grammar.
Secondly, and this one really is a kicker, there is no star known to modern science which can be found if you look up the name “Aderoid” in either the NASA Star and Exoplanet Database, the SIMBAD Astronomical database, the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic database, or Wikipedia! This is not a nuclear weapon in Iraq, this is a star, if it existed close enough to us to pass within 35 million miles of the Earth, we would know about it.
And that is another important consideration (and my personal favorite), if a star comparable to our sun (and I’m going to say that it would be, for the sake of argument) were to pass within 35 million miles of the Earth, or 34.65 million miles to be exact, we would be burnt to a crisp and the planet would resemble Mercury, hot, lifeless, barren in every sense of the word.
The closest that the Earth ever comes to the sun is approx. 147 million kilometers. That is five times the distance that Aderoid is supposed to pass by our rock. We are talking about a star less than 1/5th the distance from us to our own sun. We wouldn’t be taking pretty pictures, we would be incinerated.
Most importantly, however, is the fact that a star (or any object) which was approaching the Earth would not suddenly become visible, and appear as large and bright as our own sun, and then disappear again within a few days. The universe just doesn’t work like that. If Aderoid existed and it was approaching our solar system, we would know about it long before it came closer to us than our own star!
Aderoid doesn’t exist, it’s not going to materialise out of the ether and disappear again leaving joyous smiles on our faces and cool photo’s of double sunsets, and I’m not going to believe e-mails this incredibly stupid. Nor should you. Push delete!