Got plans Saturday evening? Well, cancel them, because you're not going to want to miss this.
According to NASA, a full moon of "rare size and beauty" will rise at sunset on Saturday, March 19. Scientists are calling it a "super moon," and it's apparently the biggest in almost 20 years!
The moon will appear so large, bright, and beautiful because it's reaching the "perigree" side of its orbit -- when it's closest to earth. Perigree moons are already 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than moons on the "apogee" side of the moon’s orbit (when it is farthest away from earth). But what makes Saturday's moon so special is that it's almost perfectly coinciding with a full moon -- thus, the "super moon" terminology. This hasn't happened since 1993!
But not everyone's excited about the seeing the biggest full moon in years. They're too busy predicting subsequent natural disasters and the end of the world ...
True, a super full moon brings with it "extra-high perigean tides," which may be why some people -- I'm not going to go as far as to call them "crazy," but let's just say they're particularly prone to wild speculation and overreaction -- are making scary predictions:
Get ready for what could be moderate to severe weather patterns, increased seismic activity, tsunamis, and more volcanic eruptions than normal.
But the experts who actually have science on their side say that super moons do not trigger natural disasters. In fact, tide waters are expected to be only a few centimeters higher than usual, which is a minimal amount as far as tides are concerned. Here's Jim O'Leary, director of the Maryland Science Center's Davis Planetarium, downplaying the panic:
There's no reason to expect any calamities or quakes or anything really bad ... It's happened many times before ... and hasn't caused anything bad in the past.
I think I'm going to go with the scientists on this one and enjoy the super moon instead of being scared of it. How about you?
Are you excited or scared for the super full moon?
Image via Fields of View/Flickr