Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FACT CHECK; Don't Be Fooled: There's No 'Green Moon'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FACT CHECK; Don't Be Fooled: There's No 'Green Moon'

Article excerpt

Byline: Carole Fader

Times-Union readers want to know:

I read on the Internet that on May 29, a "green moon" will be visible in the night sky. Is this true?

On March 25, a Facebook user published a meme claiming that on May 29 a rare "green moon" would appear for the first time since 1847 (other versions claimed the date would be April 20), Snopes.com and TruthOrFiction.com reported:

"For those who need information on how this works ... All night long on Sunday, May 29th the seventh planet from the Sun, Uranus, will park itself near the moon.

The green giant is only 4 degrees away from the moon. The cosmic odd-couple will appear about four degrees apart in the sky - equal to 8 full moons side-by-side.

This week after darkness falls the near full moon acts as a convenient guidepost for finding Uranus. Credit: Starry Night Software/ A.Fazekas The green-colored ice giant has four times the width of Earth, but since it lies nearly 1.9 billion miles (3.1 billion kilometers) away from Earth, it's barely visible to the naked eye - and only in very dark, pristine skies.

With the glare from the nearby moon, binoculars will be your best bet in spotting Uranus. Just look for a tiny greenish-blue disk in the field of view. By the way, the absorption of red light by methane in the atmosphere is what gives Uranus its cool coloring."

This might sound scientific, but it isn't.

Snopes.com states that the photo of a green moon that accompanied the post appears to have been lifted from a Flickr account.

The user had Photoshopped a photo of the moon taken on Aug. 3, 2009, and, according to TruthOrFiction.com, posted a joking comment, "Who said the moon isn't made of green cheese."

The claim was similar to earlier rumors of an April "pink moon," a phenomenon that referenced a real lunar event, although it didn't involve a moon that was pink in color, Snopes. …

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