Belarusians to Witness "Supermoon" on March 19

18.03.2011 14:25
Архив Редакция

Saturday, March 19, Citizens of Belarus will be able to observe a rare phenomenon, the so-called "supermoon." Director of BSU observatory Olgierd Kuznechik said that the distance between the Earth and its natural satellite, the Moon, will be reduced to 356.7 thousand kilometers (7 thousand miles less than usual) on this day. Since this moment coincides with the full moon, Belarusians  will be able to observe the moon with a pronounced blue tint, which, in addition, will appear visually brighter and longer than usual, around 21:10. 

The astronomers recorded earlier phases of the closest approach in 1955, 1974, 1992. The minimum distance, at which the satellite was approaching the Earth, was 356.4 thousand km.

Some scientists believe that such a rapprochement of the Earth and the Moon threatens the planet of natural disasters. Nevertheless, Olgierd Kuznechik finds that the possible consequences of this event are strongly exaggerated. According to the Belarusian specialists, the force of mutual attraction of the planets will increase, causing storms and hurricanes. However, scientists say, it is possible on other days as well. Olgierd Kuznechik explained that active movement of air masses will only trigger the increased range of the tides, BelTA informs.

Olgierd Kuznechik also assured that the people wouldn’t be much affected by «supermoon.» According to him, people, undergoing sleepwalk, can somehow respond to this astronomical phenomenon.

Meanwhile, the Belarusians already could watch something similar in January 2009. Then, an unusually large and bright moon was due to the fact that the Moon and the Sun were approaching the Earth at the same time. According to experts, the closer the moon to the Earth is, the more it seems, the closer to the Sun — the brighter, because it reflects sunlight. The distance between the Moon and the Earth was about 363.3 thousand km on January 11, 2009 with the full moon. The moon looked 14% bigger and almost as a third lighter.

«Overall, however, the Moon recedes from the Earth. In the past, our planet was spinning faster, and the moon was much brighter,» told Olgierd Kuznechik.