Is the Earth headed for a Moonageddon in 2 weeks?

One astronomer has predicted that this phenomenon may bring worrying disruptions to Earth`s climate.

Updated: Mar 05, 2011, 00:34 AM IST

Melbourne: In two weeks, the Earth could be headed for a big showdown according to some, for the Moon will be at its closest point to Earth in 18 years, an event that is known as a “lunar perigee”.

One astronomer, who has titled the event ‘SuperMoon’ has predicted that it may bring worrying disruptions to the Earth’s climate patterns.

On March 19, the moon will be just 356,577km away from Earth, an event that has Internet theorists talking about the possibility of extreme weather, earthquakes and volcanoes.

However, scientists have rubbished the theories.

“There will be no earthquakes or volcanoes unless they are to happen anyway,” quoted Pete Wheeler of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy, as saying.

“(The Earth will experience) just a lower than usual low tide and a higher than usual high tide around the time of the event, but nothing to get excited about.”

But astronomer and lecturer David Reneke claims there’s more cause for alarm about the extent of human paranoia than any sort of impending apocalypse.

“If you try hard enough you can chronologically associate almost any natural disaster/event to anything in the night sky ... comet, planet, sun,” he said.

“Remember in the past, planetary alignments were going to pull the sun apart. It didn``t. Astrologers draw a very long bow most times. Normal king tides are about all I would expect out of this SuperMoon prediction.”

On the other hand, Dr Victor Gostin, Planetary and Environmental Geoscientist at Adelaide University said there may be some correlation between near-equatorial large scale earthquakes and new and full moon situations.

“This is because the Earth-tides (analogous to ocean tides) may be the final trigger that sets off the earthquake,” he said.