Busting astronomy myths

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Monday, November 16, 2009

As the editorial staff of the world’s best-selling astronomy publication, we get a lot of e-mails. Some suggest story ideas, some praise a column, feature, or image, and many ask questions.

Lately, lots of e-mail writers have enquired about astronomy-related stories they’ve heard on the radio or television or read on the Internet. For example, “Is it true that Mars will appear as large as the Full Moon to the naked eye in August?” or, “I’ve heard astronauts can see the Great Wall of China from the Moon.”

Both of these are myths. And, although we answer all e-mails sent to us, at times it may take a while for us to get back to you. So, to provide even speedier replies, we’ve set up a special area called "Astronomy Myths" in the "Welcome to Astronomy" section of our web site, Astronomy.com, to which we can direct questioners.

Once there, you’ll find detailed explanations of myths like “There’s no gravity in space” and “The Moon doesn’t spin.” And, oh yes, we do address the one about the world ending in 2012.

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