posted on 06/05/2012: 1423 views
The moon on its perigee or the closest approach to the earth will be the biggest and the brightest — a ‘super moon' — on Sunday. The super moon will appear over the UAE horizon at 7.21pm on Sunday, posing a panoramic view — only if the sky is not hazy, meteorologists in Sharjah said.
Since this month's full moon coincides with the moon's perigee — its closest approach to Earth — it will also be the year's biggest, they added.
The moon will position itself at a distance of 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometres) from our planet, offering skywatchers a spectacular view of an extra-big, extra-bright moon, nicknamed a super moon, the Discovery News reported.
According to meteorologist Joe Rao, besides the moon's perigee coinciding with full moon this month, this perigee will be the nearest to Earth this year.
Later this year on Nov.28, the full moon will coincide with apogee, the moon's farthest approach, offering an especially small and dim full moon.
Though the rare appearance of this month's full moon may be surprising to some, there's no reason for alarm, said Mohamed Talib Al Salami, chairman of Adco Astronomy Club and member of Abu Dhabi Heritage Group.
The slight distance variation is not enough to cause any earthquake or extreme tidal effects, he said.
However, the normal tides around the world will be mostly high and low. At perigee, the moon will exert about 42 per cent more tidal force than its next apogee two weeks later, he added. The last super moon appeared in March last year and was visible only very late due to bad weather.
The super moon, however, did not cause any catastrophic conditions on earth due to its gravitational pull except a usual high tide over some parts of the ocean.
The gravitational pull of the moon in its closest approach to the earth last occurred on March 19, 2011. The incident, which happened after a gap of 18 years, was alleged to have caused some catastrophes on the earth.
However, meteorologists in Sharjah have warned asthma patients to be careful during the next few days of the moon's approach to the earth. The gravitational pull can worsen their asthmatic conditions, they said. "We cannot completely rule out the possibilities of such disasters due to the moon's closest approach to the earth and its gravitational force,” Al Salami said.
"Practically there is no scientific proof to such a thing, but theoretically it can happen,” he added. – The Gulf Today
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