On March 19th, Earth’s moon will be in its closest proximity to Earth in eighteen years; the moon will come as close as 221,567 miles (356,577 kilometers). This event is known as a perigee. Though ordinarily this would be an event warranting nothing more than cooler talk for average citizens, this perigee has been dubbed an “extreme super moon” by astrologist Richard Nolle. Is this simple ravings of an astrologist or should humanity prepare for the worst?
Richard Nolle is a noted astrologer and owner of the website astropro.com. The term “extreme super moon” was coined to describe this lunar event because Richard Nolle believes this to be an event of disastrous proportions. Nolle believes that the perigee will result in: “a surge in extreme tides along the coasts, a rash of moderate-to-severe seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions), and most especially in this case a dramatic spike in powerful storms with heavy precipitation, damaging winds and extreme electrical activity. Floods are a big part of the picture in this case, although some of these will be dry electrical storms that spark fast-spreading wildfires” (Astropro) This is not simple conjecture; historically speaking, the years in which there was a super moon (1955, 1974, 1992 and 2005) were also years that were marked with devastating natural disasters. Furthermore, the influence of lunar position on factors such as tides on Earth is an accepted phenomenon amongst scientists. Despite being an astrologer (not a scientist as most articles online remind readers), Nolle’s theory has gained a large following. With some people scrambling to weather the potential fallout from the “extreme super moon”, is there validity in this theory?
Astronomers, along with the greater scientific community, are in general agreement; there is no reason for people to be concerned about the perigee. The moon’s position has an effect on the earth’s tides and the combined influence of both solar and lunar positioning can even cause shifts in continents known as land tides. However, despite the known influences of the moon on the Earth, scientists do not believe that the impending perigee will have any significant effect on the planet. The relative closeness of the moon to the Earth will be approximately 1% closer than normal. John Vidale, a seismologist at the University of Washington said, “Practically speaking, you’ll never see any effect of lunar perigee. It’s somewhere between ‘It has no effect’ and ‘it’s so small you don’t see any effect'” (sofiaecho).
What readers should take from this article is that the world is not ending. There may be a sleight increase in tidal activity so it might be a good idea to be more careful if you plan on taking a dip in the ocean. Other than that, sit back and enjoy the show because the moon will be a big and bright spectacle in the sky.