On Monday night, earth-dwellers will witness a celestial phenomenon called a “supermoon”. This full moon appears up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than a regular full moon. Though it’s hard for the human eye to notice without a direct comparison.
The upcoming supermoon is the “Super Pink Moon” on 7 April 2020. A minimum of, that’s for North America. The worldwide time for the “Super Pink Moon” being 100% illuminated is 8 April 2020 at 2.35 a.m. Universal Time.
Why does it occur? Full supermoons occur when the moon is adjacent to the closest point to earth and its orbit around the earth. For the 9 March 2020, the moon will be 222,081 miles from the Earth. The 8 April 2020 221,851 miles, and for the May 7 supermoon, 224,429.
The moon orbit of the earth is not circular, it is elliptical. The two points of orbit that bring the moon closest to the earth, are called its “perigee”. When the perigee coincides with a full moon, this is called a “supermoon”. This happens about three or four times in a year. Supermoon varies in size because the moon’s orbit is altered by the Sun and other planets.
The closest supermoon of the century will occur on December 6, 2052 astronomers say. What is its effect? Other than being romantic, supermoons have stronger gravitational pulls, by about 23%. Speculation has linked this to natural disasters, but there is no scientific evidence in support. Yet on oceans, supermoons have a measurable impact, pulling tides up to 15cm higher.
There 15cm represent supermoons extra gravitational impact on the entire planet. By comparison, the effect on a human being is imperceptible. Smaller than standing next to a large building. Yet many individuals claim to feel strangely affected by the supermoons.
Different theories seek to explain this but scientists generally reject gravity is to blame. Many explanations are psychological, supermoons focusing our minds on natural beauty and the lunar cycle.