Supermoon is a coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach to the Earth on its orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size from view. This phenomenon causes both oceanic and crustal tides which risks increased earthquakes and volcanic activities.
Recent Events and Upcoming in 2014
Astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 coined the Supermoon as a "new or full moon which occurs with the Moon at or near its closest approach to Earth." Supermoon happens four to six times a year and the most extreme was back in March 19, 2011.
June 23, 2013 is the most recent occurrence of the Supermoon and the closest encounter of the Moon to the Earth for the entire year. For every 14 full moons in a Full Moon Cycle, supermoon occurs. Another Supermoon has been predicted to occur on August 10, 2014 but will not be as close as with 2013 event.
Extreme Tidal Influence
Moon's distance from Earth affects natural tides of the sea and the closer the Moon, the greater influence is expected on tides. The March 19, 2011 event was known for grounding five ships in Solent in the United Kingdom but claims aren't yet supported by scientific evidence, while the February 21, 2011 supermoon happened right before the February 22 earthquake on Christchurch, New Zealand.
Effects on Natural Disasters
Supermoon is also linked on several natural disasters such as earthquake, tsunami and volcanic eruption. In December 26, 2004, the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia happened before a supermoon on January 10, 2005. Another event being linked is the disastrous Hurricane Katrina that swiped several states in the U.S.
Scientific Evidence of Actual Supermoon Effects
Science has already proven that the Moon influences the Earth in many ways including the flow of tides. Research geologist Rich Briggs stated, "the gravitational pull of the moon creates Earth tides and sea tides and causes portions of the Earth's surface to bulge."
"The moon does not need to be invoked to explain what caused this event. There are much simpler explanations," Briggs response to the recent destructive earthquake in Japan which caused unimaginable casualty.
In the Philippines, all classes in every levels at public and private schools in Obando, Bulacan due to flooding caused by a high tide. Mayor Orencio Gabriel explained that the area suffered floodwaters which rose up to 4 feet and 9 inches high. According to the local government, the suspension may be extended until the floodwaters go down.
Supermoons provide amazing views, but the gravitational pull between the Earth and its natural satellite can cause a phenomenon whenever they get too close to each other.