People are struggling to understand what caused the hugely destructive earthquake and tsunami in Japan. For some, "plate tectonics" and "random chance" isn't good enough. And this month, the moon will be closer to the Earth than it has been since 1993. So now there's a dumb "supermoon" conspiracy theory gaining steam.
What is a "supermoon," besides a thing an astrologer made up that means nothing? It's when a full moon is at it's closest point in its orbit around the Earth. From Accuweather.com:
A new or full moon at 90% or greater of its closest perigee to Earth has been named a "supermoon" by astrologer Richard Nolle. This term has been recently picked up by astronomers. An extreme "supermoon" is when the moon is full or new as well as at its 100% greater mean perigee (closest) distance to earth. By this definition, last month's full moon, this month's and next month's will all be extreme "supermoons".
Woah, extreme supermoons! (Keep in mind astrologer Richard Nolle, who coined the term "supermoon," has a website that looks like this.)
Some idiots think that a supermoon foretells great atmospheric and geologic disturbance, and they link past supermoons with past disasters, and the current earthquake. The Daily Mail blares: "Is the Japanese earthquake the latest natural disaster to have been caused by a "supermoon"? No. What a supermoon means is that high and low tides will be slightly higher and lower than usual, and also werewolves are extra strong this month.
[Photo via Shutterstock.com]