Will ’Supermoon’ on March 19 trigger storms, earthquakes and other natural disasters?

The moon will swing around the planet closer than it has in the last 18 years-just 221,567 miles away-on March 19, reports Space.com’s sister site Life’s Little Mysteries. Astrologer Richard Nolle believes the upcoming full moon, which he called an "extreme supermoon," can be expected to cause huge storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters.

Under normal conditions, the moon’s gravity causes small ebbs and flows in the ocean tides, according to Life’s Little Mysteries. "The tides are greatest during full and new moons, when the sun and moon are aligned either on the same or opposite sides of the Earth."

During full and new moons, "you see a less-than-one-percent increase in earthquake activity and a slightly higher response in volcanoes," seismologist John Vidale said.

However, the moon’s gravitational pull at lunar perigee (the closest approach of the moon during its orbit) does not have a significant effect, said John Bellini of the U.S. Geological Survey. "It’s somewhere between ’It has no effect’ and ’It’s so small you don’t see any effect,’" he told Life’s Little Mysteries.

"The bottom line is, the upcoming supermoon won’t cause a preponderance of earthquakes, although the idea isn’t a crazy one," the website said.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center chief scientist James Garvin said the "effects on Earth from a supermoon are minor." A full moon at perigee "should not affect the internal energy balance of the Earth since there are lunar tides every day... according to the most detailed studies by terrestrial seismologists and volcanologists."


For more on this story, log on to Life’s Little Mysteries and NASA.

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