Citing a new scientific study published on the journal Nature, conspiracy theorists have raised alarm, claiming that the next full supermoon that will occur on November 14, 2016 — the closest supermoon thus far this century — could generate strong tidal forces, sparking devastating tidal waves and triggering mega earthquakes.
What is a supermoon?
A supermoon is a new or full moon that occurs at the moment or very near the moment of the Moon’s closest approach (perigee) to Earth in its elliptical orbit, according to EarthSky.
The full supermoon in November will be the largest and brightest in 68 years because the full moon occurs at a time that the Moon is closer to Earth than it has been since January 26, 1948.
A full moon will not come closer to Earth until November 25, 2034.
The proper scientific term for a supermoon is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system, with the term syzygy referring to the alignment of Earth, Sun, and Moon that occurs during a full or new moon.
In other words, a perigee-syzygy is the alignment of the Earth, Sun, and Moon (syzygy) during the closest approach (perigee) of the Moon to the Earth.
A full supermoon is referred to as a perigee full moon, while a new supermoon is a perigee new moon.
The term supermoon was first used by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979, in reference to a new or full moon that occurs when the Moon is closest to Earth or very near (90 percent) its closest point to Earth.
The term was popularized during the perigee full moon that occurred on March 19, 2011. And since then some astronomers have been using it in popular media to describe a perigee full or new moon.
A full supermoon is larger and brighter than an ordinary moon because it is closer to Earth than usual. But in practical terms, it is usually difficult for casual observers to detect a difference in size between a full supermoon and an ordinary or apogee full moon. But the difference can be demonstrated using objective scientific measures.
Measurements have shown that a full moon at perigee is about 14 percent larger in diameter and about 30 percent larger in area than a full moon at its farthest point (apogee) from Earth. A full moon at perigee also shines about 30 percent brighter than a full moon at apogee.
The 2016 November full moon, according to astronomers, will occur only about one and a half hours after the Moon reaches perigee. The full moon instant, according to EarthSky, will occur on November 14 at 8:52 a.m. EDT (13:52 GMT). But skywatchers will witness a Moon that looks full and bright on the nights of November 13 and 14, climbing highest around midnight as it rises from the east before setting in the west.
At perigee, the Moon will approach Earth at a distance of about 221,524 miles (356,509 kilometers), compared with the Moon’s average distance from Earth of 238,900 miles (384,470 km) and a farthest distance (apogee) of 252,688 miles (406,662 kilometers).
The Moon will approach Earth even closer at perigee on November 25, 2034, at a distance of 356,446 km. The closest full moon this century will be seen on December 6, 2052, at a distance of 356,425 km.
Conspiracy Theorists warn of Devastating Tidal Waves And Mega Earthquakes
A new study published on the prestigious scientific journal Nature that concludes ominously that the “Moon’s gravitation pull can trigger big earthquakes” has sparked fears of devastating tidal waves and mega earthquakes caused by November’s supermoon.
Tidal forces are greatest during the alignment of the Earth, Sun, and Moon at lunar perigee (that is perigee-syzygy). This result, according to conspiracy theorist Nemesis Maturity, in a video uploaded to YouTube on September 26, 2016 (see video above), is that November’s full supermoon will have a dramatic impact on ocean tides, with unusually low and unusually high tides.
According to Nemesis Maturity, the supermoon could even cause devastating tidal waves.
The conspiracy theorist also warns that the next full supermoon could trigger mega earthquakes due to the stress on the Earth’s crust caused by the extra combined gravitational pull of the aligned Sun and Moon on Earth at lunar perigee.
Scientists had previously denied such claims, saying that even the most powerful tidal forces are too weak to cause earthquakes. But conspiracy theorists had insisted that the occurrence of major earthquakes in the past around the time of supermoons — such as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that devastated Indonesia, the 2010 Chile earthquake, and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan — proves that supermoons can trigger major earthquakes.
Conspiracy theorists also claimed that the supermoon that occurred on March 19, 2011, grounded five ships in the Solent, a strait between the Isle of Wight and mainland England in the U.K.
[Featured Image by Stefan Holm/Shutterstock]