Tag Archives: earthquakes

QUAKE (not the game)



TWSB: Super Moon = Super Lunacy

You know what the best part of This Week’s Science Blog is? How insane people get over the smallest things.

Well, largest things.

Hold on, let’s start again.

On March 19th, the moon will be the closest to the earth it’s been in 18 years. This particular lunar perigee is also special because the moon will also be full that night. Moon enthusiasts (lunatics?) are calling the event an “extreme supermoon,” and of course you’ve got the conspiracy people saying that the closeness of the full moon will lead to—what else?—terrestrial Armageddon.

While scientists have indeed shown that earthquakes are actually more frequent when the moon is closer to the earth, particularly when it is lined up with the sun (owing to the greater gravitational tug-of-war for the earth between the moon and the sun) and historic years involving supermoons have had worse weather, the dudes at NASA remain calm and assert that “there’s nothing really special about this.”

The moon will be closer to earth than it’s been in the last 18 years, true, but NASA scientist Dave Williams says that it’s closer by about half a percent more than usual—which is fairly trivial.

Even so, I’m hoping that the night of the 19th will be one of those super rare cloudless nights here in Vancouver so I can see the brightest, biggest moon we’ll have seen in 18 years.