Super Moon Saturday: Cause for Concern?

Saturday, March 19 will be a special day.  On this day, the moon will be the closest it has been to the Earth in 18 years. It will also be at its fullest.  In the 1970’s , astrologer Richard Nolle dubbed this event the “Super Moon”, and this year it has some people wondering if it could spell dire consequences for Planet Earth.

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The timing of the event comes right on the heels of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan on March 12.  Some people are concerned that the increased gravitational pull by the moon upon the Earth tomorrow could trigger natural disasters en mass.

According to the, the Super Moon, also called the “lunar perigee”, will see the Moon come within 221,567 miles of our planet.  It’s average distance is about 239,000 miles.  So what does this mean for us?

Richard Nolle says it ain’t good.  On his estrogen supplementation with clomid (which is worth visiting if only for the sci-fi sound effects as you browse the categories) he ranks tomorrow’s event as an “extreme Super Moon”, and points out that it is actually the second super moon this year so far.  The first having taken place at the same time as the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.

He goes on to point out that other natural calamities have taken place during or near Super Moon phases.  A couple of examples would be Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the 1948 quake that struck Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, taking 110,000 lives.  He recommends that for those living in regions prone to upheaval, such as the Pacific Ring of Fire or along a coast line, it would be wise to prepare for a possible event.  He advises, “Don’t be paranoid – but don’t be complacent, either.”

There is also geologist, who predicts possible danger within the Super Moon window.  Watch the video below:

Read more about Berkland and his predictions about a possible mega-quake here:  homework crisis mp3

But… before you allow yourself to slip too deeply into the doom mindset, it is important to look at the other side of the argument.

Phil Plait, the creator of Bad Astronomy on, says flatly, “Anyone claiming this “supermoon” can cause earthquakes or whatnot is, to be blunt, totally, completely, utterly, wrong.”

In his article, Kryptonite for the supermoon, Plait explains that:

  • Yes, the Moon is closer today than usual, but only by less than 2%.
  • This does happen around full Moon, which is when we get bigger tides, but that happens every single month. The Moon being closer amplifies that, but only a tiny little bit.
  • The Moon’s possible effect on earthquakes has been studied for a long time. The result? Major earthquakes are not correlated with the Moon’s position or distance.

His article is definitely worth a read, as is his previous post showing the Moon had nothing to do with the Japanese earthquake.

So,  there is an abundance of information available from people who make it their life’s work to study and analyze events such as the Super Moon, and as yet there is no consensus.   The Universe is vast and mysterious, so I suppose the best we can do is be prepared for whatever fury Mother Nature has in store for us, and remain thankful for each day that we can enjoy her bounty without distress.