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April Fools

Astronomy and space April Fool jokes and hoaxes

Multiple frame picture of a meteoroid falling. Taken from the helmet camera of a Norwegian skydiver who was narrowly missed by the space rock. Coming so close to April 1st, it sounds like a slightly belated April Fool. However experts have examined video footage and agree that what they see is consistent with a meteoroid. (Credit & copyright: Anders Helstrup) Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" www.bellaonline.c...

A New Constellation. April 1, 2003 [Credit: Hugo E. Schwarz (CTIO), NOAO] APOD reported that a new constellation was surprising star gazers. "Ollie the Owl has suddenly started dominating the southern hemisphere.” The bird perching on the Tololo All Sky Camera, which would have been funnier if the bird hadn't scratched the plastic dome. Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" www.bellaonline.c...

Water On Mars. On March 31, 2005, APOD showed the next day's picture as “water on Mars . . .” which did leave people wondering. This was before orbiters and rovers had gathered so much evidence for water on the red planet. April Fool! (Credit & Copyright: Ellen Roper (GCC)) Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" www.bellaonline.c...

Asteroid Ida and its satellite Dactyl. Image made from data collected by the spacecraft Galileo on its close approach to the asteroid (1993-08-28). Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" www.bellaonline.c...

"Mercury's moon." March 31, 2012. It's a small bright spot in the discovery image, taken yesterday by the MESSENGER wide angle camera. The moon is about 70 m (230 ft) in diameter, orbiting Mercury at a mean distance of 14,300 km (8,890 miles). The name Caduceus, after the staff carried by the Roman god Mercury, is proposed to the IAU. (Credit: NASA) APRIL FOOL! Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" www.bellaonline.c...

April Fool in space, 2010. The three-man crew of the International Space Station got a laugh from Mission Control with a photo of themselves spacewalking wearing not space suits, but slacks, T-shirts and sunglasses. (Hope they remembered the sunblock!) They were cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and astronauts Timothy Creamer (USA) & Soichi Noguchi (Japan). Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" www.bellaonline.c...

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield holds up two objects that look like grenades as part of an April Fools' Day prank. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency/Chris Hadfield ) April 1, 2013. ( They're actual air sampling devices.) Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" www.bellaonline.c...

Chris Hadfield's grand April Fools' Day finale shows him posing with an alien that just stopped by the station to say hi. "I don't know what it is or what it wants, but it keeps repeating 'Sloof Lirpa' over and over. Alert the press." (April 1, 2013) Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" www.bellaonline.c...

Sir Patrick Moore (1923 - 2012). British astronomer, broadcaster and writer. Many astronomers - professional and amateur alike - credit Moore with getting them interested in astronomy. His 1987 April Fool about the Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect was a classic, and mocked a popular disaster book of the time. Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" www.bellaonline.c...

Sir Richard Branson flying the Virgin Galactic flag. On April 1, 2011 he announced that he had bought Pluto and had a plan to get it reinstated as a planet. He said, "Virgin has expanded into many territories over the years, but we have never had our own planet before. This could pave the way for a new age in space tourism." Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" www.bellaonline.c...

Graphic of April Fool's Day asteroid 's orbit. 2012 EG5 came closer to the Earth than the Moon, but there was no danger of its hitting us.