Will Saturday's 'supermoon' destroy the Earth?
No, it won't. You people really need to learn to calm down.
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At times of full and new moons, "you see a less-than-1-percent increase in earthquake activity, and a slightly higher response in volcanoes," he said.Skip to next paragraph
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However, the moon's smidgen of extra gravitational pull at lunar perigee is not a big enough increase from its pull at other times to measurably increase the likelihood of natural disasters. "A lot of studies have been done on this kind of thing by USGS scientists and others," said John Bellini, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey. "They haven't found anything significant at all."
The scientists said the effect of the supermoon is somewhere between "it has no effect" and "the effect is so small you don't see it."
In short, Vidale told us in anticipation of Saturday's event, tidal forces are real but tiny. "The stresses driving earthquakes are orders of magnitude larger. Decades of earthquake records show at best a minuscule influence of tides on the times of earthquakes. No extra fear of earthquakes is warranted during a 'supermoon', although a healthy respect for their destructive power is appropriate at all times."
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the close encounter with our nearest and dearest cosmic companion. And if you snap an amazing photo of the supermoon and would like to share it with SPACE.com for a story or gallery, send photos and comments to managing editor Tariq Malik at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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