Super Moons don’t happen often, but when they do, there is a lot of hype about them causing extreme weather or natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis. The timing of this supermoon, so soon after the biggest recorded earth quake to hit Japan has got people talking. Are the two natural phenomenon connected? If the moon was at it’s more normal distance away from Earth would the quake have been less strong, or would it even of happened at all?
On 19th March 2011 the Super Moon will only be 221,567 miles away, the closest its been since 1992. I can see where the people are getting their ideas from. The Earth is not a solid oblate sphereoid, it is made up of several tectonic plates which float on a highly viscous mantle, which means its like a thick gloopy liquid. Earthquakes are caused by the release of pressure when these plates move against, or away from each other. The Moon has a gravitational pull on the Earth and you can see this every day just by watching how the moon creates the movement of the ocean tides. So people are thinking the plates are being moved by the moons gravity. I’m pretty sure the moon affects the shape of the earth, casuing it to bulge at certain points. Unable to work out 100% whether this is possible or not, I’ll just leave it up the experts to work it out.
A more likey occurance, in my opinion, would be some form of extreme weather associated with the super moon, only time will tell! Or it could all be hysteria, and the super moon will be nothing more than a night time photographers fantasy come true.