Japan disaster not related to ’supermoon’: Experts

March 16th, 2011 - 1:21 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Mar 16 (ANI): Experts have dismissed reports that the Japan disaster was closely related to or even caused by the ’supermoon’ that will appear in the sky on Saturday.

On March 9, British newspaper Daily Mail introduced the word ’supermoon’ in a report, which said amateur scientists were warning that such an astronomical phenomenon could disrupt the Earth’s climate patterns and may even cause earthquakes and volcanic activity.

According to the report, the moon will be 356,577 kilometers from the Earth on Saturday, the closest in 19 years, and the closest point in its oval orbit coincides with a full moon.

However, Saturday’s moon is not actually the closest to Earth in 19 years, Tang Haiming, an astronomer with Shanghai Astronomical Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Xinhua.

A shorter distance of 356,570 km between the two bodies was reached in January 2005, and a distance of 356,566 km was seen in December 2008.

Yet some people suggest that previous supermoons have occurred prior to extreme weather events.

In 1974, the phenomenon was followed by Cyclone Tracy in Darwin, Australia, and in 2005 it occurred shortly before a deadly tsunami in Indonesia.

Coincidentally, two fresh disasters happened in Asia right before Saturday’s supermoon.

The public’s concern about their connection with the moon boomed after Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami and a tremor in Southwest China’s Yunnan province that killed 25 people on March 10.

But astronomers are trying to reassure people that such rumors are merely groundless.

“A supermoon could cause high tides but has no direct relation with natural disasters such as earthquakes,” Liu Jie, a researcher with the China Earthquake Network Center, told China Daily.

“We can’t find any necessary connection between previous supermoons and earthquakes. And the quake in Japan occurred because the Earth’s internal energy had accumulated to some extent, and it’s not related to the moon,” he said. (ANI)

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