Jupiter's Moon, Europa
New Horizons took this image of the icy moon Europa rising above Jupiter's cloud tops after the spacecraft's closest approach to Jupiter. The spacecraft was 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Jupiter and 3 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Europa when the picture was taken. Robotic missions to Mars and Jupiter's icy moon Europa should top NASA's to-do list for an upcoming decade of planetary exploration, the U.S. National Research Council recommended on Monday. For the decade 2013-2022, five separate panels of scientists and experts agreed on a suite of missions that would get the greatest scientific return from money spent, recognizing that even these projects could be budget busters. Reuters/NASA/Johns Hopkins Uni

The rumour started when an alleged Twitter post from NASA said that a much awaited planetary alignment will cause a fluctuation in the Earth's gravitational pull and will leave people weightless for a short period of time. The alleged tweet even gave an exact date and time (Jan.4, 9:47AM PST) where in the phenomena will occur followed by a hashtag "beready".

The story turned out to be an instant sensation and gaining popularity on social media with the hashtag "ZeroGDay". According to Tech Times, the rumour's online popularity was ignited when the news was published in the website Daily Buzz Live last Dec.15. For those who are not familiar with the website, it happens to be famous for fictional and mostly hoax stories.

Additionally, the hoax has been attributed to the radio prank made by the late Patrick Moore, British astronomer, which said that Pluto will pass directly behind Jupiter in relation to Earth on Jan.4 at exactly 9:47AM PST. According to Moore, the rare alignment will exert a stronger tidal pull which would counter the Earth's own gravity and resulting to people being virtually weightless. The prank stated that this is caused by the combined the gravitational force of the two planets.

Moore's hoax phenomena called the "Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect" could be experienced by jumping in the air at the same time the planetary alignment occurs. People who will plunge in might experience a "strange floating sensation", as explained by the late astronomer.

Another report has totally debunked such hoax that has existed since April Fool's Day of 1976. According to the Slate's report, NASA has never posted such tweet announcing the so called Zero Gravity Day phenomena. The source for the unusual interplanetary episode was just a product of a photo-shopped tweet from NASA.

Another fact to consider is that, the gravitational forces of other planets in the solar system have basically no effect on humans. The report also said that the pull of all planets put together will be less than 2 percent of that of the moon. Well, talk about April Fool's Day joke on the first week of January.

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