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  • It's Supermoon!


    The biggest and brightest full moon of the year arrives Saturday night as our celestial neighbor passes closer to Earth than usual.

    But don't expect any "must have been a full moon" spike in crime or crazy behavior. That's just folklore.

    Saturday's event is a "supermoon," the closest and therefore the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. The moon will come within about 221,802 miles (357,000 kilometers) from Earth. That's about 15,300 miles (24,600 kilometers) closer than average.

    That proximity will make the moon appear about 14 percent bigger than it would if the moon were at its farthest distance, said Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory. The difference in appearance is so small that "you'd be very hard-pressed to detect that with the unaided eye," he said.

    The moon's distance from Earth varies because it follows an elliptical orbit rather than a circular one.

    Like any full moon, the supermoon will look bigger when it's on or near the horizon rather than higher in the sky, thanks to an optical illusion, Chester said.

    The supermoon will bring unusually high tides because of its closeness and its alignment with the sun and Earth, but the effect will be modest, Chester said.

    But no matter how far away a full moon is, it's not going to make people commit crimes, get admitted to a psychiatric hospital or do anything else that popular belief suggests, a psychologist says.

    Studies that have tried to document such connections have found "pretty much a big mound of nothing, as far as I can tell," said Scott Lilienfeld of Emory University.

    Lilienfeld, an author of "50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology," said the notion of full moons causing bizarre behavior ranks among the top 10 myths because "it's so widely held and it's held with such conviction."

    Lilienfeld said a key reason could be the way people pay attention to things. If something unusual happens to occur during a full moon, people who believe the myth take note and remember, even telling other people because it confirms their ideas. But when another full moon appears and nothing out of the ordinary occurs, "they're not very likely to remember" or point it out to others.

    So in the end, he said, all they remember are the coincidences.
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. rpm's Avatar
      rpm -
      The biggest and brightest full moon of the year arrives Saturday night as our celestial neighbor passes closer to Earth than usual.

      But don't expect any "must have been a full moon" spike in crime or crazy behavior. That's just folklore.
    1. Randhir's Avatar
      Randhir -
      Full Moon Beach Party is gonna be awesome tomorrow
    1. froot's Avatar
      froot -
      It peaks on Sunday morning afaik, at around 5.45am.
      It's also pretty rare, occurring around once every 18-odd years.
    1. copacetic's Avatar
      copacetic -
      Quote Originally Posted by rpm View Post
      But don't expect any "must have been a full moon" spike in crime or crazy behavior. That's just folklore.
      Take it to PD, why don't you!
    1. ponder's Avatar
      ponder -


      Does not really get much bigger
    1. Mila's Avatar
      Mila -
      watch out for the fingers though..
    1. MickeyD's Avatar
      MickeyD -
      It's going to be interesting!!

    1. froot's Avatar
      froot -
      Think they said something like 14%? It's still a fair bit.

      Quote Originally Posted by MickeyD View Post
      It's going to be interesting!!

      Uhm... that looks like a gstring to me
    1. Necuno's Avatar
      Necuno -
      Quote Originally Posted by rpm View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by rpm View Post
      The biggest and brightest full moon of the year arrives Saturday night as our celestial neighbor passes closer to Earth than usual.
      But don't expect any "must have been a full moon" spike in crime or crazy behavior. That's just folklore.
      fullmoon is tomorrow?
      http://www.kwathabeng.co.za/travel/m...?town=Pretoria
    1. bwana's Avatar
      bwana -
      Quote Originally Posted by ponder View Post
      Does not really get much bigger
      does not get any bigger
    1. ponder's Avatar
      ponder -
      Quote Originally Posted by Pr⊕phet View Post
      fullmoon is tomorrow?
      My tide chart I keep on my desk says it's on Sunday.
    1. raind33r's Avatar
      raind33r -
      Awhoooooooooooooooo whohoohoooooooooooo
    1. Nick333's Avatar
      Nick333 -
      Don't know about everywhere else but almost every time I've driven somewhere in PE the last couple of days there have been emergency vehicles racing somewhere and I've seen at least two serious accidents. I've been wondering if theirs a connection.
    1. HapticSimian's Avatar
      HapticSimian -
      Quote Originally Posted by bwana View Post
      does not get any bigger
      It does, just not by enough to get excited about...
    1. MickeyD's Avatar
      MickeyD -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick333 View Post
      Don't know about everywhere else but almost every time I've driven somewhere in PE the last couple of days there have been emergency vehicles racing somewhere and I've seen at least two serious accidents. I've been wondering if there's a connection.
      True... yesterday 5pm - entire emergency department appeared to be heading to the airport....
    1. ToxicBunny's Avatar
      ToxicBunny -
      PE has an airport that ppl actually use?!?!?!?!
    1. Nicodeamus's Avatar
      Nicodeamus -
      Quote Originally Posted by ToxicBunny View Post
      PE has an airport that ppl actually use?!?!?!?!
      for a race track obviously!
    1. joelus's Avatar
      joelus -
      Quote Originally Posted by HapticSimian View Post
      I think what the poster you were responding to means is that it does not get any bigger at all. It appears slightly bigger because it's slightly closer but actually it's still the same size it was previously!
    1. HapticSimian's Avatar
      HapticSimian -
      Quote Originally Posted by joelus View Post
      I think what the poster you were responding to means is that it does not get any bigger at all. It appears slightly bigger because it's slightly closer but actually it's still the same size it was previously!
      If that is the case then said poster can regard the linked article as an extended lesson in properly expressing thoughts in writing.
    1. Crusader's Avatar
      Crusader -
      I'll quote Neil deGrasse Tyson on this:
      Moon Lunacy strikes again: The impending Supermoon is to an average full Moon what a 16" Pizza is to a 15" Pizza. So chillax.
      A 'Supermoon' also occurs almost every year. The previous one was on 19 March 2011. So not such a huge occurrence at all.

      A full Moon will occur at perigee once every 411.776 days (i.e. P(perigee&full)=411.784, or just less than once per year
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