One of my Periscope followers recently asked if I was aware of Earth’s twin planet, you know, the one scientists refuse to acknowledge? Reporters on board a helicopter had photographed it eclipsing Venus, he said. There’s even a YouTube video of the mysterious event.
I don’t make a habit of tracing down every story that sounds like a hoax, but I do follow the leads every now and then just to keep my biases in check.
The YouTube video shows a bright object in the sky that appears to be a crescent. The reporters speculate that its probably Venus, but could it be Saturn? How could it be eclipsed?
Of course it could be Venus. I checked the sky for California on the date this video was added to Youtube and yes, Venus was up in the sky in the early evening.
And yes, it would appear as a bright dot in the sky.
Here’s an image of Venus taken years before. without some adjustment to the brightness and contrast, the planet looks like a bright dot.
But a little adjustment will bring out the crescent shape.
A lot of adjustment brings the crescent shape to greater clarity.
The mysterious Earth-twin eclipsing Venus? I don’t think so. Reports of a mysterious planet eclipsing Venus seem to have been somewhat exaggerated. My initial suspisions are confirmed; it’s just a hoax/misunderstanding.
What can we learn from this?
I can learn that it’s good to check out these weird reports every now and then. Who knows, there could be something new to discover. At the very least, it might just reconfirm my bias. Maybe I need to develop a finer filter.
Others might learn to be a little more skeptical about reports of things read and heard on the internet. Just developing a filter could be a good first step for many.