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The Urban Astronomer

The "Zero G Day" Hoax

25 Dec 2014, 21:02 UTC
The "Zero G Day" Hoax
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Fake tweetI enjoy the occasional science hoax, and the resurgence of the "Zero G Day" hoax brings a smile to my face. It is a claim that on January 4th, 2015 at 9:47 PST, gravity on Earth will be momentarily diminished due to an alignment of Pluto and Jupiter. There is just enough science in the claim to make many believe it could be true, but in fact it's far from the truth, just a fun prank started by the astronomer Patrick Moore years ago. Nonetheless, if thousands of people jump at that moment, we can test out the theory that the Earth might move if everyone jumped at once, a scientific idea explored well by the science video series from Vsauce.I like this hoax almost as much as the "Mars will be bigger than the Full Moon" hoax that surfaces every year. It's getting harder to separate fact from fiction in our socially-networked world. I look to Slate's Phil Plait and his Bad Astronomy blog for this, along with snopes.com.

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