You may have a seen a story going around Facebook that promises you'll be able to float in the air on January 4th as a result of a planetary alignment that will "decrease gravity" for 5 minutes. Unfortunately, it is total bullshit.
The story originates from DailyBuzzLive, a fake news site that admits it occasionally publishes "works of complete fiction," and it's being widely shared because it includes a tweet from NASA that boosts its apparent credibility.
But NASA denies both the tweet and the bogus claim that a planetary alignment will somehow let you float for 3 seconds at a time:
"These rumors are false and the image of a NASA tweet circulating is a doctored image," the agency said in a statement to AL.com, "Microgravity exists only off Earth. The crews aboard the International Space Station live and work in microgravity, where they conduct science experiments that take advantage of this unique environment aboard the orbiting laboratory. Temporary microgravity can be created using aircraft flying in parabolic arcs."
Bad Astronomer Phil Plait also took down the hoax in his Slate column, pointing out that he had to debunk the exact same rumor last year, after it was passed around by a different fake news site. Not only that, but it's actually based on a hoax that's been around for 40 years.
Patrick Moore, cited in DailyBuzzLive's article, was actually a notable British astronomer, and he did actually make the Zero G Day claim in 1976. What the piece leaves out is that it was an April Fools' Day joke.
For the record, Pluto and Jupiter aren't aligning on January 4th, and it wouldn't matter if they did, because they're much, much too far away to exert the kind of gravitational force the fake article describes.
In fact, doing the math, I find that the Earth pulls on you about 200 trillion times harder than Pluto does. That's about the same ratio as the number of cells in your body to a single cell ... so this claim that you can float is like saying you can shed a single cell and fly away by flapping your arms.
Please let the circa-1997 R. Kellys on your Facebook feed know that, although you wish them success in their future endeavors, they will sadly remain every bit as earthbound as usual on Jan 4.
[h/t seemingly every single person on Facebook]