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Mars to End Life As We Know It

“Truly a once in a lifetime experience” for stargazers — tomorrow, August 27th, 2015, watch the night sky to catch the breathtaking sight of Mars hurtling toward us on a collision course.

Artist's rendering of Martian orbit as imagined by chain email authors.

Artist’s rendering of Martian orbit as imagined by chain email authors.

Just before press time, we were alerted to this astonishing astronomical development by a forwarded email reading:

SEE MARS AS LARGE AS THE FULL MOON ON 27TH AUGUST 2015. Should be spectacular! Truly a once in a lifetime experience!

At Mars’s previous closest approach to Earth (in 2003), it appeared as a noticeable orange dot in the night sky; if it’s going to look as large as the full moon tomorrow night, during the period in its orbit when it’s normally on the opposite side of the Sun from us, no less, it can mean only one thing.

We’re all fucked.

Tidal wave inundation zones as calculated by our meteorological department.

Tidal wave inundation zones as calculated by our meteorological department.

Some tips for observing Mars tomorrow night:

  • Pick a spot far away from terrestrial light sources to get the best view of the night sky.
  • Seek high ground in anticipation of Mars’s sudden massive gravitational influence on Earth’s oceans (pictured above).
  • If Mars wants to get at us badly enough to fly out of its normal orbit and pass right through the sun, you know what, I bet it’s just as likely to slam into us as not.  Make peace with whatever higher being(s) you subscribe to and brace for its fiery impact.

If the site is down on Friday due to the end of the world, I’d just like to say that it’s been an honor.

Sam Stafford
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Sam started out as a child, devouring golden age science fiction from his father’s bookshelf, tinkering with BASIC on those Apple IIs they used to have in grade school, and playing D&D during lunch periods. As a Cal EECS graduate, he now makes his living by coaxing emergent behaviors from complex systems, and divides his spare time between baking, botany, dancing, games, and the pursuit of the perfect cocktail.

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