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On March 19, the moon will be Closer to Earth than at any time since 1992. Could ‘supermoon’ disrupt Earth’s weather?

Posted on: March 9, 2011

It doesn’t take much to get the Internet’s lunar-tics out in force.

The web was yesterday awash with apocalyptic warnings that the movement of the moon will trigger tidal waves, volcanic eruptions and even earthquakes next week.

The conspiracy theorists claim that on March 19, the moon will be closer to Earth than at any time since 1992 – just 221,567 miles away – and that its gravitational pull will bring chaos to Earth.

However, astronomers have dismissed the claims as pure nonsense.

The bizarre rumours centre on a phenomenon called the ‘lunar perigee’.

The moon’s orbit around Earth is not a circle, but an eclipse. At its closest approach – the perigee – the moon appears brighter and larger in the sky. When it is furthest away – the apogee – it is smaller and dimmer.

A lunar perigee occurs once a month. However, next week’s perigee coincides with a full moon – a combination of events that happen just once every two or three years.

Although it makes a good photo opportunity for astronomers, scientists say it has no impact on Earth.

Dr David Harland, space historian and author, said: ‘It’s possible that the moon may be a kilometer or two closer to Earth than normal at a perigee, but it’s an utterly insignificant event. ‘

But the Internet is awash with conspiracy-minded amateur scientists warning that such a ‘supermoon’ could disrupt Earth’s climate patterns and may even cause earthquakes and volcanic activity.

Previous supermoons took place in 1955, 1974, 1992 and 2005 – all years that had extreme weather events, the conspiracy theorists say.



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2 Responses to "On March 19, the moon will be Closer to Earth than at any time since 1992. Could ‘supermoon’ disrupt Earth’s weather?"

considering the fact that a huge tsunami just hit japan after an 8.9 earthquake im very scared.

I am not that worried, since this happens every couple of years. I cant remember the world being turned inside out in the 27 years I have been around, I might fart more during a full moon evert few years but I would think thats more to do with my 5 a day than the moon.

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