Moon to get 'up, close and personal' with earth!

On March 19

A file photo of Various phases of ‘Supermoon’.

This is known as lunar perigee and a normal lunar perigee averaging a distance of 364,397 kilometers (226,425 miles) happens once every orbital period. The term "Supermoon" was coined by the astrologer Richard Nolle.

In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth.

The Supermoon occurred in 1955, 1974, 1992 and 2005 were amazing.

It is a scientific fact that when the Moon is at perigee there is more gravitational pull, creating higher tides or significant variations in high and low tides.

In addition, the tidal effect of the Sun's gravitational field increases the Moon's orbital eccentricity when the orbit's major axis is aligned with the Sun-Earth vector.

The average tidal bulge closely follows the Moon in its orbit, and the Earth rotates under this tidal bulge in just over a day. Generally Tidal forces contribute to ocean currents, which moderate global temperatures by transporting heat energy toward the poles.

It has been suggested that in addition to other factors, harmonic beat variations in tidal forcing may contribute to climate changes.

From extreme coastal tides to severe storms to powerful earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the entire natural world surges and spasms under the sway of the Supermoon alignment - within three days either way of the exact syzygy, as a general rule.

The effects on Earth from a Supermoon are minor, and according to the most detailed studies by terrestrial seismologists and volcanologists, the combination of the moon being at its closest to Earth in its orbit, and being in its 'full moon' configuration (relative to the Earth and sun), should not affect the internal energy balance of the Earth since there are lunar tides every day.

The Earth has stored a tremendous amount of internal energy within its thin outer shell or crust, and the small differences in the tidal forces exerted by the moon (and sun) are not enough to fundamentally overcome the much larger forces within the planet due to convection and other aspects of the internal energy balance that drives plate tectonics.

The Supermoon 2011 will mean that it will be brighter and larger in the sky than other full moons, but some believe that the super moon is connected to natural disasters.

Past super moons have been connected to the Indonesian earthquake in 2005 and a massive flood in Australia in Earthquakes, storms, intense tidal activity are some of the probable disasters that the impending 'Supermoon' or lunar perigee may trigger.

The moon will look much larger than normal especially when it rises on the eastern horizon at sunset, or given the right atmospheric conditions. Some astronomers are predicting that the Lunar Perigee event coinciding with a Full Mean will affect climate patterns on Earth.

- S A Mohan Krishna, Amateur Astronomer

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