Naught in the Dark

A fake news article falsely claims that NASA has announced the Earth will experience 15 straight days of darkness in December 2015.

FACT CHECK:   Has NASA confirmed that there will be 15 straight days of darkness in November 2015?

Claim:   NASA confirmed there will be 15 straight days of darkness in November 2015.

  FALSE

Examples:     [Collected via Twitter, July 2015]

 

Example:     [Collected via e-mail, December 2015]

I can't find if this is true or not.  Nasa confirms that we will have 8 days of darkness from December 15 thru the 23rd.  I have looked on Snopes, so far nothing.  Are we?

Origins:    On 14 July 2015, the web site Newswatch33 published an article titled "NASA Confirms Earth Will Experience 15 Days of Complete Darkness in November 2015," claiming:

NASA has confirmed that the Earth will experience 15 days of total darkness between November 15 and November 29, 2015. The event, according to NASA, hasn't occurred in over 1 Million years.

Astronomers from NASA have indicated that the world will remain in complete darkness starting on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 3 a.m. and will end on Monday, November 30, 2015 at 4:15 p.m. According to officials, the "November Black Out" event will be caused by another astronomical event between Venus and Jupiter.

Charles Bolden, who was appointed to head of NASA by President Obama, issued a 1000 page document explaining the event to the White House.

While Charles Bolden is a real NASA official, the Newswatch33 web site is not a legitimate news outlet. Newswatch33 is a fake news site began darkening the doorstep of social media networks shortly after the nearly identical NewsWatch28 fake news site shut down in mid-2015. Moreover, the "15 days of darkness" yarn was lifted from an older (debunked) viral rumor that has been around the online block several times before.

Newswatch33 has hoaxed social media users a number of times since its inception, falsely claiming that supporters raised $4 million for the defense of Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof, that a girl was electrocuted by her iPhone's earbuds, that Jay-Z and Beyonce purchased the rights to the Confederate flag, and that the federal government had impregnated inexpensive cigars with listening devices.

In October 2015, the fake news web site Huzlers published an article titled "NASA Confirms Earth Will Experience 6 Days of Total Darkness in December 2015!"; that article essentially repackaged the original fabrication. Previous Huzlers hoaxes included a claim that semen was found in Starbucks drinks nationwide, that McDonald's was busted using "human meat," that Chipotle was caught using cat and dog meat in their meals, and that an Ebola victim rose from the dead as a zombie.

Last updated:      4 December 2015

Originally published:     22 July 2015

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