NASA's "15 Days of Darkness" Hoax Strikes Again
The internet has its fair share of hoaxes, all brilliantly crafted and seemingly plausible. However, things often appear to be more accurate when you tack on a name like NASA. Despite rumors floating around, there will not be "15 days of darkness" next month. Similarly, there weren't 15 days of darkness last year either.
An article from NewsWatch33 started the whole mess. It said:
"NASA has confirmed that the Earth will experience 15 days of total darkness between November 15 and November 29, 2015. The event, according to NASA, hasn't occurred in over 1 Million years.
Astronomers from NASA have indicated that the world will remain in complete darkness starting on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 3 a.m. and will end on Monday, November 30, 2015 at 4:15 p.m. According to officials, the "November Black Out" event will be caused by another astronomical event between Venus and Jupiter.
Charles Bolden, who was appointed to head of NASA by President Obama, issued a 1000 page document explaining the event to the White House."
Bolden is, in fact, a NASA official. He serves as the 12th Administrator of NASA, having transitioned from 30 years with the space shuttle missions. However, he never reported any of this, nor did he compile a 1,000-page document to send to the president.
Modern retellings of this hoax include the following details: the phenomenon starts at 3 a.m. and ends at 4:45 p.m. November 29; it lacks major side effects; strange interactions between Jupiter and Venus cause the effect. If you're reading an article with those details or similar sounding ones, you've fallen victim to a hoax.
As with anything that sounds too spectacular to be true, check the source first. Sure, NASA's headlines aren't as fantastic sounding as ones from other sources. However, it never hurts to trace back information to its original study.
Professor Gretchen Benedix is an astrogeologist and cosmic mineralogist who studies meteorites and figures the forming stages of the solar system.