Supermoon will be big, bright, and full on June 23

The perigee full moon, which happens once every 14 months, is happening next weekend and will likely bring with it tales of impending calamity and natural disaster.

Lick Observatory

Supermoons can tend to get doomsdayers revved up.

Besides being a remarkable sight to behold , the massive moon also comes with the mythical stigma of causing a handful of natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis, floods, typhoons, and cyclones.

And, this year's supermoon is quickly upon us. It will be shining its light next weekend on June 23. On that day, the moon will appear bigger and brighter, and be closer to Earth than it's been all year -- a total of 221,824 miles away, which is roughly 30,000 miles closer than when it's at its farthest.

Despite supermoon apocalypse scenarios running amuck, NASA scientists haven't found any direct correlation between natural disasters on Earth and the close proximity of the moon.

During a supermoon, the sun, Earth, and moon are aligned -- with the Earth in between. Gravitational forces exerted on the Earth by the moon and sun are what cause our planet's ocean tides to rise and fall, which is most likely why alarmists believe there's a connection between supermoons and calamity.

However, according to NASA, high-tide during a supermoon is just a couple of inches more than what it is during a normal moon.

Supermoons, or perigee full moons, appear bigger than usual because they are so close to the Earth. There have been other supermoons in 2013, but none of those happened during a full moon -- like there will be on June 23.

According to science news site EarthSky, a full moon will not be as close to the Earth again until August 2014.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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