There’s a super full moon tonight, March 19. The full moon occurs tonight at the perigee (nearest point) of the moon’s orbit around the earth. It’s the closest it’s been to earth since March 1983. Tonight is the moon’s closest perigee for the next 5 years. It’ll be worth viewing for several days.
The moon is about 30,000 miles closer to the earth than at its apogee, and it’s about 30% brighter and looks 14% larger. But it’s still about 220,000 miles away from earth.
The gravitational attraction of the moon on the earth is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Thus as the distance decreases the gravitational force increases by the square (at half the distance, it’s 4 times as great).
Calculating using the inverse square law shows that the moon’s attractive force on the earth is about 30% stronger at perigee than at apogee.
(The calculation is (250,000/220,000)**2 = 1.29, so 29% greater attractive force of the moon on the earth at perigee.)
This certainly affects the ocean tides and could possibly have a triggering effect on earthquakes. Was Japan’s Sendai quake influenced by the approaching moon? Very possibly.
See this article on Earthquake Risks for more information on the moon and earthquakes.
Here’s a video from NASA about the super full moon phenomena.
Soli Deo Gloria.
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Saturday March 19, 2011 A.D.
Read my March 2011 Bible-Science newspaper column
The Genesis Code.
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. (Genesis 1:14-19)