Supermoon hype but no horrible catastrophe predicted?

Saturday’s ‘Supermoon’ Won’t Destroy Earth | Will the Supermoon Cause Earthquakes? |

Astronomers call it perigee-syzygy; the rest of us call it “supermoon.” Either way, the alignment of the sun and moon will coincide with the moon’s closest approach to Earth on Saturday (May 5), resulting in the biggest full moon of the year. But don’t worry, it won’t break Earth.

Saturday’s supermoon will be especially super. Richard Nolle, the astrologer who coined the term “supermoon,” defined it as a full moon that occurs within 12 hours of lunar perigee, or the point in the moon’s slightly non-circular monthly orbit when it swings closest to our planet. On Saturday, the timing of the two events will be almost perfect: the moon will reach its perigee distance of 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) — the closest lunar perigee of 2012, in fact — at 11:34 p.m. Eastern Time, and it will fall in line with the sun (thereby becoming full) just one minute later.

However, the moon’s smidgen of extra gravitational pull at lunar perigee is not a big enough increase from its pull at other times to measurably increase the likelihood of natural disasters. “A lot of studies have been done on this kind of thing by USGS scientists and others,” said John Bellini, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey. “They haven’t found anything significant at all.”

The scientists said the effect of the supermoon is somewhere between “it has no effect” and “the effect is so small you don’t see it.”

Source: Life’s Little Mysteries

It’s more hype than anything. Phil Plait has an explanation: The Supermoon Stuff? AGAIN?

Surprisingly, a cursory search revealed there were no dire predictions for this latest supermoon. If you find any, please include them in the comments. Maybe we are just tired of these Doomsday scenarios. Ho-hum.

  2 comments for “Supermoon hype but no horrible catastrophe predicted?

  1. F89
    May 3, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    Wow. What frightens me is many of the people that are using some of the most advanced communications in history (I pads, the net, cell phones) are running around claiming or believing that an astronomical event will cause distruction-when they can look the facts up easily using the same devices.
    Sigh, indeed.

  2. Stew Green
    May 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    – I see Piers Corbyn using the theory that seismic activity is more likely on days with stronger sunspot activity predicts Risk level 4 for Earthquake or Volcano (on scale 1-5) for 5-7th May this weekend & Monday.
    – & says more likely in NORTHERN Hemisphere Pacific ring (based on current tilt of the Earth).
    – Phil Plait covered why the the Japan 2011 quake of March 11th 2011 was NOT caused by the build up to the supermoon March 19th 2011.

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