March 19th, 2011 16:15 EST
Tonight's Super Moon Caused By Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami?
"For all you science buffs out there tonight`s Super Moon is supposed to be very super and one of great remembrance. For those who do not know what a Super Moon is the definition means a full or new moon that coincides with a close approach by the Moon to the Earth." (Wikipedia, 2011)
So, in simple terms a Supermoon is just the moon coming or rotating closer to earth in its normal and routing orbit. The original term `Supermoon` in not accepted in the scientific community and is more like a pet name for the true term of `perigee` which refers to either the moon or a satellite being at the closest point to the center of the earth in the moons or satellites normal orbit. When the moon is at its closest point to the earth it will look like a huge white snowball. The moon also does more than just light up the night sky.
It also plays a large part in our oceans and the force it has on tides. When the moon is closer to the earth, it will have a greater and stronger effect on tides which will result in a higher tide in a lot of geographical locations but should not be something out of the ordinary. You may get a little more beach erosion than normal.
A point about Supermoons that is very interesting is in past history some scientists and astrologers have linked Supermoons to natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. This is very coincidental since we just had the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan last week and now tonight the Supermoon is surfacing.
The hypothesis and supporting evidence to this myth is termed as tenuous which basically means there is really not enough evidence scientifically to support the strong facts if this is really true or not. Another scientific and factual point that may support this myth is another earthquake and tsunami that occurred six years ago.
The huge tsunami and earthquake that hit the Indian Ocean in 2004 was blamed on a Supermoon which occurred two-weeks later after the earthquake and tsunami hit but if you look at the reasoning behind how a Supermoon affects the tides and ocean at the point of being two-weeks out; the Supermoon is at its complete opposite point in the normal orbit so it would be at a greater distance away from earth thus having a lesser effect and influence on the oceans and tides so the gravitational pull from the moon would be at its weakest point.
Scientist continue to study this phenomenon and try to gather more substantial evidence to turn into facts of the myth that Supermoons play an integral part on earthquakes and tsunami. The question to me is was the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan a result of tonight`s Supermoon? To me it very well could have been because this natural disaster happened less than two-weeks ago which means that the Supermoon occurring tonight was less than two-weeks out at the time of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan and the moon was not at it furthest point meaning at the weakest gravitational pull, so to me it may have had something to do with the recent natural disaster in Japan.
The problem with this claim according to scientists is that the moon was supposedly at its apogee point furthest away and not at it perigee point or closest point so it probably did not have anything to do with the natural disaster in Japan a real dilemma to be studied and looked at by scientists. I believe it may have had something to do with Japan because science states the moon is at its apogee point two-weeks away from a Supermoon occurring and the disaster that hit Japan and tonight`s Supermoon is not a full two-week period from when the disaster struck Japan which would mean the moon had a more powerful effect on the gravitational pull, of the oceans and tides but of course I am not a scientist.
Some of the next predictions for Supermoons to occur are on November 16, 2016, January 2, 2018, January 23, 2023, November 25, 2034, and January 13, 2036. Tonight`s Supermoon will be one of great detail and outline but is not expected to be as illuminated as past ones. The last time a Supermoon occurred was in 2008. And at the time that moon hit is full perigee point was actually during daylight hours which means the moon was more below the horizon than full and shiny in the night sky.
"Tonight`s moon is predicted to have the same scenario as the last Supermoon in 2008 and is predicted to be like a Waning Gibbous moon which means a lunar phase or phase of the moon refers to the appearance of the illuminated portion of the Moon as seen by an observer, usually on Earth. The lunar phases vary cyclically as the Moon orbits the Earth, according to the changing relative positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun." (Google definitions, 2011) but don`t feel like you are being cheated; tonight`s Supermoon, although may not be as illuminated and bright as if you decided to stare into a light bulb on a lamp without a shade but should still prove to be one to tell your grand kids about.
When tonight`s Supermoon flows over the horizon as the earth turns on its North and South pole axis like a top spinning sideways, the Supermoon will already be slowing a bit and receding away from earth so this is the reasoning behind why it will not be as illuminated as past Supermoons have been but that`s fine.
So, pull out that lawn furniture, spark up the Bar-B-Que, dust off that NFL football that has been sitting in your attic since the last Super bowl, call some friends over, and have a Supermoon party.
Wikipedia, Supermoon, (www.wikipedia.com) retrieved 2011.
Google definitions, Waning Gibbous Moon, (www.google.com) Retrieved 2011.