Scientists Skeptical Over Supermoon Concerns
An astrologer has started considerable buzz on the Internet about a “supermoon” phenomenon happening on March 19 and a slew of natural disasters it will bring.
Astrologer Richard Nolle, the man responsible for naming the event, warned on his website www.astropro.com about a “supermoon risk window” from March 16-22, which will have marked increases in tidal waves, earthquakes magnitude 5 or higher, and volcanic activity.
The “supermoon” event, otherwise known as a lunar perigee, happens when a new or full moon is 90% or more of its closest orbit distance to Earth. Next week, the moon will be at 100%.
“If you look at the USGS website where they have all the significant earthquakes of 2011, you will find that 72.7% of them fall in the risk windows on my website,” Nolle explained to FoxNews.com.
“The Christchurch earthquake happened on the last day of a supermoon window. The Haiti earthquake even happened in one of the time windows in my 2010 forecast — which was published the year before,” he said.
Some scientists, however, have been skeptical.
Peter Goldreich, an emeritus professor for Caltech University’s Astronomy and Planetary Science Department, said he and other scientists have been studying the moon for decades and have never proven the correlation between the supermoon phenomenon and natural disasters.
“There have been a lot of studies on whether earthquakes on our planet were triggered when the moon was closest to Earth, and no conclusive evidence has ever been found for that,” Goldreich said.
“The idea is that the strain builds up in the Earth until only a small little bit of extra gravitational force could tip it over and cause an earthquake, and this could come from the moon. But there’s been no absolutely no correlation for that.”
Goldreich said it might not even be the Earth that would experience earthquakes, although the tides would definitely change.
“You tend to have stronger tides near the full moon,” Gordon Johnston, planetary program executive for NASA, told Fox News. “These will be the strongest tides of the month, but they won’t be much different from last year. They’re not that unusual from other tides around the full moon.”
Johnston added that the difference most people would really see is the amazing sight of the moon being closer than it usually is.
“The moon will be a little closer than it was last year, 1/4,000 of a percent closer,” he said. “The distance between the Earth and the moon changes a lot in its orbit. Really the only change is that it appears bigger when it’s close. This coming full moon will be the brightest of the year.”Tags: Featured, Featured News, Featured News, Breaking News