Hundreds throng to watch Supermoon in India

The moon came very close to the earth and appeared bigger and brighter than normal.

Updated: Mar 20, 2011, 11:31 AM IST

Mumbai/New Delhi: Hundreds of sky gazers across India thronged planetariums, seashore and open fields on Saturday to have a glimpse of the Supermoon or Perigee, a natural phenomenon in which the moon comes very close to the earth and appears bigger and brighter than normal.

Locals thronged the India Gate in New Delhi to witness the spectacle that occurred after 18 years.

Families and friends said such a phenomenon just added to the beauty of the night.

“We have never seen the moon so beautiful. And, it was so close to the earth that I felt like touching it and wanting to settle down on the moon,” said Seema, a local resident.

Indian scientists ruled out the possibility of the phenomenon having a devastating effect on Earth.

The media had earlier reported that the appearance of the moon larger and closer to Earth would lead to natural calamities such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

“I wanted to make it a memorable moment for myself and have come to the seashore. I wanted to see what the effect is on the sea is due to this phenomenon. I observed that there is high tide and we can see huge waves. It is a spectacular view and I’m having fun watching it,” said Uttam Shirole, a Mumbai resident.

In Bangalore, residents visited the planetarium to watch the spectacle.

“Yes, we have been waiting for this day from the time we got to know. So, the kids were very curious about it. It’s always nice to have hands on experience you know rather just seeing it on pictures or on TV (Television). So, we just thought we’ll come down here to the planetarium," said Afsha, a housewife.

A similar crowd was also seen in Hyderabad, where people said such an occurrence was once in a lifetime experience.

The phenomenon is also known as Lunar Perigee and is also called Supermoon as it is occurs a full moon day.