The Sun Is Not Going Away

Remember when I wrote about dihydrogen monoxide, that dangerous chemical that should be banned because it causes thousands of deaths every year (  (News flash: it’s water.  Think about it, two hydrogen and one oxygen.)

I have another one for you.  There are several videos on YouTube claiming that, because of a conjunction between Venus and Jupiter, the sun will go dark for about 15 days.  For example, “Are You Ready for 15 days of darkness In November 15-30,2017?” discusses this, as well as a couple of other, um, interesting astronomical observations (

If you’ve heard this, don’t worry.  An article entitled “Will Earth undergo 15 days of darkness in November, 2017?” by Deborah Byrd on the EarthSky website ( explains it this way —

We at EarthSky are receiving questions about the so-called days of darkness supposedly announced by NASA and supposedly coming up in late November, 2017.

Did NASA announce it? No.

Will it happen? No.

YouTube videos are suggesting the event will be caused by “another astronomical event, between Venus and Jupiter.” Yes, Jupiter and Venus – the sky’s two brightest planets – are having a conjunction low in the east before dawn this month. It’ll be beautiful! It’s just so wrong to use this conjunction – which has happened countless times in Earth history, to the wonderment of all privileged to observe it – to perpetuate a hoax.

As for the idea that NASA has issued a “1,000-page document” on the event for the White House. Well. That’s just entirely fake.

Think about it. What would have to happen for Earth to experience 15 days of darkness? Our day-night cycle stems from Earth’s rotation on its axis around our local star, the sun. The sun shines on half of Earth for part of its 24-hour period; that’s daytime. Nighttime is simultaneously occurring on the opposite side of Earth.

For the whole Earth to undergo 15 days of darkness … what would have to happen? The sun would have to go out for 15 days? Or something would have to shroud the sun? Or pass between us and the sun?

All of those scenarios are unlikely to the point of ridiculousness, when you consider the vast size of our sun. That’s why zero days of all-Earth darkness have occurred in human history so far.

Let me say it again. It’s never happened. It’s not going to happen.

I guess P. T. Barnum was born in the wrong age.

The photo came from the EarthSky website.

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