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HOAX - 'Cosmic Rays Entering Earth From Mars'


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Outline

Circulating message warns that potentially dangerous cosmic rays will be entering the Earth from Mars between 10:30 pm (or 12:30 am) and 3:30 am tonight and users should switch off their mobile devices. The message claims that the information comes from BBC News.

Cosmic Rays Mars
©Depositphotos.com/JohanSwanepoel



Brief Analysis

The claims in the message are nonsense. Depending on their type, cosmic rays come from outside our solar system or from the sun. They do not come from Mars or any other planet. And, the Earth's atmosphere largely protects us from cosmic rays. There are no reports about this supposed threat on BBC news. Nor is there any evidence that cosmic rays could somehow make cell phones dangerous. Sharing this silly nonsense will help nobody.

   

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Examples

VERY URGENT! Tonight at 00:30 to 03:30am make sure to turn off your phone, cellular, tablet etc & put far away from your body! Singapore TV announced on the news! Please tell your family & friends! Tonight 12:30pm to 3:30am for our Planet will be very high radiation! Cosmic rays will pass close to Earth, So please turn off your cell phone! Do not leave your device close to your body, it can cause you terrible damage! Check Google & NASA BBC News! Send this message to all the people who matter to you! Thank you

!! ATTENTION !!
Tonight, from 10:30 PM to 3:30 AM
Cosmic Rays will be entering Earth from Mars.
So please switch off your mobile devices.
At night, do not keep your cellular phones beside you and place it away while sleeping because this Cosmic Rays are quiet DANGEROUS
From: BBC NEWS
Kababalita lang a few hours ago.
Please help spread this message to your loved ones and friends to keep them safe.
Thank You!
This is not a Joke or a Hoax!

Cosmic Rays From Mars Hoax Post



Detailed Analysis

Warning Claims Dangerous Cosmic Rays from Mars Will Hit Earth Tonight

According to a rather breathless message that is circulating via social media and the blogosphere, cosmic rays emanating from the planet Mars will hit the Earth tonight, between 10:30 pm (0r 12:30 am) and 3:30 am.

The message supposedly comes via BBC News. It advises us to switch off our mobile devices during the impact time and ensure that our cell phones are not close by as we sleep because the cosmic rays can be quite dangerous.

The post ensures us that the information is 'not a joke or a hoax' and asks that we share it to help keep others safe.

Message is a Silly Hoax - No Such Threat Reported

Alas, despite its assurance, the message is indeed a hoax and a particularly silly one at that. No, dangerous cosmic rays will not be entering Earth from Mars tonight or any other night. Or any other day, for that matter.

Direct exposure to cosmic rays could indeed be harmful. But earth's atmosphere protects us from them. And, cosmic rays might interfere with normal cell phone functioning, but they would not make the devices suddenly dangerous to have around.

Cosmic rays do not come from planets. Not even from our mysterious red neighbour. And, there are no reports about this supposed Mars generated cosmic ray threat on BBC News, NASA, or any other credible news or scientific resource.

Earth Largely Protected From Cosmic Rays Dangers

Depending on their type, cosmic rays may come from outside our solar system or from our own sun. An article about cosmic rays on Windows to the Universe explains:

There are several different types of cosmic rays. Solar cosmic rays come from the Sun. They have less energy than most other types of cosmic rays. Solar flares and other explosions on the Sun make this type of cosmic ray. A second type is the galactic cosmic ray. Galactic cosmic rays have more energy than solar cosmic rays. Astronomers think they come from supernova explosions, black holes, and neutron stars within our own Milky Way galaxy. A third type is the rare extragalactic cosmic ray. Scientist think these particles come from somewhere outside of our galaxy.
And if humans - such as astronauts on interplanetary missions - were exposed to cosmic rays, they could certainly experience significant health problems as a result. Even if they didn't have their cell phones turned on and close to their beds.

But, thankfully, people and machines on Earth are quite well protected from cosmic rays. The Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere stops most cosmic rays from getting through and causing us harm.

It is true that 'space weather' such as strong solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME's) , can potentially disrupt satellite systems and cause minor and temporary interference with GPS and cell phone signals. But, such events will not cause lasting damage or suddenly make our devices dangerous. And, of course, as the name suggests, solar flares come from our sun, not Mars or any other planet.

In fact, this bogus message is just a revamped version of a hoax that started circulating in mid 2012:

Tonight 12:30 am to 3:30 am cosmo rays entering earth from mars. So switch off your mobile at night. Don’t keep your cell with you & put it away while you are sleeping because they are too much dangerous rays: NASA informs BBC NEWS. Pls spread this news.
At least the new variant refers to 'cosmic rays' instead of 'cosmo rays'.

Spreading this silly warning will help nobody. If you receive the hoax message, please do not share it with others. And please let the sender know that the warning is a hoax.

   

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Cosmic Rays From Mars

©Depositphotos.com/EnricoAgoston1


Last updated: January 13, 2016
First published: September 17, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Cosmos - Cosmic Rays
Cosmic Rays
NASA - Cosmic Rays
Health threat from cosmic rays
NASA - Impacts of Strong Solar Flares
Nairaland Forum - Switch Off Your Phones