Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Will Saturday's 'supermoon' destroy the Earth?

No, it won't. You people really need to learn to calm down. 

(Page 2 of 2)



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

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: tmalik@space.com.

Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover. Follow Life's Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries, then join us on Facebook.

Copyright 2012 Lifes Little Mysteries, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!