To celebrate the "Super Flower Blood Moon" eclipse on Wednesday (May 26), the company behind Bagel Bites says it's giving away lunar real estate to 100 social media fans.
During the 14 minutes of totality — when the moon will be in Earth's dark, inner shadow, known as the umbra — Twitter users will have a chance to win a "moon deed" and own an acre of property on the moon — at least that's what Kraft Heinz, the company that makes Bagel Bites, is claiming.
"In honor of the lunar eclipse that lasts 14 minutes (exactly how long it takes to cook Bagel Bites), we're celebrating by giving away acres of the moon. Yeah, that moon," Bagel Bites officials wrote in a description of the contest, called "Total Eclipse of the Bite." The legitimacy of these lunar deeds could be up for debate, but at the very least winners can get some free Bagel Bites!
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To enter the contest, send a tweet using the hashtag "#BBSweepstakes" between 7:11 a.m. EDT (1111 GMT) Wednesday and 12:59 a.m. EDT (0459 GMT) Thursday. You must be at least 18 years old and live in the United States to be eligible for a prize.
On Friday (May 28), 100 randomly selected winners will receive a "personalized deed showing winner's ownership of an acre of land on the moon," and a coupon for an unspecified amount of free Bagel Bites, according to the official contest rules. The approximate retail value of each prize is $58, the rules state, but it's not clear how that amount is allocated between the acre of lunar property and the Bagel Bites.
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Can you really own part of the moon?
Those "moon deeds" Bagel Bites plans to give away may not hold much legal ground if the winners try to stake a claim on those acres of lunar land. But international space law is a bit murky — or rather, outdated — when it comes to private companies.
The international Outer Space Treaty bars nations from claiming territory on celestial bodies. However, that treaty was written before the private space sector emerged and therefore does not include any rules dictating what commercial space companies can and cannot do.
"As far as title goes, it's a gray area," international lawyer and space law expert Timothy Nelson, who works for the firm Skadden in New York City, told Space.com in 2011. And it's a gray area that entrepreneurs have been able to exploit.
For example, Dennis Hope of Gardnerville, Nev., claims to have sold 611 million acres of property on the moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury Jupiter's moon Io through his company Lunar Embassy Corp. Several other companies have similarly sold property on other solar system destinations or offered to name craters for a price. (Only the International Astronomical Union can officially name objects in the solar system.)
Regardless of whether the "moon deeds" are legitimate, you can at least score some real, tangible Bagel Bites for free during the total lunar eclipse.
Email Hanneke Weitering at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.