Planetary Alignment Causes Zero Gravity Day on Earth: Hoax


Picture about Planetary Alignment Causes Zero Gravity Day on Earth
Planetary Alignment Causes Zero Gravity Day on Earth

Story: 

Planetary alignment will cause a Zero Gravity Day on Earth, when people will experience a moment of weightlessness and float.

Analysis:

Various messages shared online over the years, especially through social networking websites, state that Earth will have a ‘Zero Gravity Day’ due to planetary alignment, when people will experience a moment of weightlessness and float. They are not facts!

Picture about Planetary Alignment Causes Zero Gravity Day on Earth
Planetary Alignment Causes Zero Gravity Day on Earth

Various Dates

These messages have been circulating online since many years, in various versions, stating the extraordinary, zero gravity phenomenon will occur on various dates like 4 April, 4 June, 30 June and 4 November in 2014.

From Satire Site

In late 2013 & 2014, the claim in question originated from an article on website news-hound.net that said people on earth will experience zero gravity day on 4th Jan. 2014. The article mentions the revelation from a British astronomer Patrick Moore that the extraordinary astronomical event will occur at exactly 9:47 am on January 4th 2014, when the planet Pluto will pass directly behind Jupiter, in relation to the Earth.

Picture of English astronomer Patrick Moore
English astronomer Patrick Moore

It is said that the rare alignment will combine the gravitational forces of the two planets Jupiter & Pluto and would exert a stronger tidal pull, temporarily counteracting the Earth’s own gravity to make people weigh less. Moore calls this the Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect, and that people can experience the weightlessness and floating sensation by jumping in the air at the precise moment the phenomenon occurred. It is also said that instead of the usual 0.2 seconds, people will take about 3 seconds to land back on their feet. The article mentioned Twitter hashtag #ZeroGDay for the phenomenon, and more importantly, the News Hound website keeps republishing the story, changing dates. The fact of the matter is that the website News Hound publishes fake and satirical stories as news.

Screenshot of the article
Screenshot of the article

April Fool’s Joke

The claims that planetary alignment of Jupiter and Pluto will decrease gravity on Earth, making people experience weightlessness is incorrect. It is a fact that other planets do exert a gravitational pull on humans on Earth, but the amount is so small that we would not feel any different here on Earth. Although Jupiter is very massive, it is also very far away, and the gravitational pull of Earth dominates all such forces.

The Jovian–Plutonian gravitational effect was in fact a hoax phenomenon that was invented for April Fools’ Day by the English astronomer Patrick Moore, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on 1 April 1976. Interestingly, hundreds of people called in after the ‘phenomenal event’ to say they actually floated at the said time. The incident is often cited among the greatest April Fool’s jokes of all time. However, note that the astronomer Patrick Moore who is said to have come up with the claims now has in fact died back in December 2012.

Hoax or Fact:

Hoax.

Related Stories:

Mars Coming Close to Earth on 27th August, Will Look Like Second Moon
NASA Predicts Total Blackout of Planet Earth in Dec. 2012

References:

Jovian–Plutonian gravitational effect


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Planetary Alignment Causes Zero Gravity Day on Earth: Hoax