18 March 2011
Posted in Crosby Observatory
Many of you may have heard about the impending “Supermoon” doomed to destroy the whole of Earth on March 19. I’m here to ease your worry. A “Supermoon”, according to astrologers (not scientists), is when a full moon occurs along with lunar perigee, or when the moon is at its closest distance to Earth in a year. This year’s perigee is special, because it is the closest in the past 18 years. Therefore astrologers are dubbing this particular event an “Extreme Supermoon” because of such a rare occurrence.
What does this mean for Earth? Not much actually. Some will have you believe that having the moon so much closer to Earth will provide catastrophic earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and overwhelming tides. Science, however, tells a different story. While the tides will be slightly more affected than usual the gravitational influence of the moon on the Earth’s crust, mantel or core will be negligible.
If you are interested in viewing the moon, 10% larger than normal, we do not recommend you use a telescope because your own two eyes will provide you with the best observing. The moon's surface will be too bright through the telescope to notice features like mountains or craters. Our Crosby Observatory will not be open this weekend, but we encourage you to check the website for our next public availability. Until then, enjoy the view, don’t fear it!