Look! Up in the sky! It's Supermoon! Due Saturday

May 04, 2012 By MALCOLM RITTER , AP Science Writer
This Saturday, March 19, 2011 photo shows a full moon over Pembroke, N.Y. at its closest point to the Earth since March 1993. The biggest and brightest full moon of the year arrives Saturday night, May 5, 2012 as our celestial neighbor passes closer to Earth than usual. Saturday's event is a ``supermoon,'' the closest and therefore the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. At 11:34 p.m. EDT, the moon will be about 221,802 miles from Earth. That's about 15,300 miles closer than average. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

(AP) -- The biggest and brightest full moon of the year arrives Saturday night as our celestial neighbor passes closer to Earth than usual.

But don't expect any "must-have-been-a-full-moon" spike in crime or crazy behavior. That's just folklore.

Saturday's event is a "supermoon," the closest and therefore the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. At 11:34 p.m., the moon will be about 221,802 miles from Earth. That's about 15,300 miles closer than average.

That proximity will make the moon appear about 14 percent bigger than it would if the moon were at its farthest distance, said Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory. The difference in appearance is so small that "you'd be very hard-pressed to detect that with the unaided eye," he said.

The moon's distance from Earth varies because it follows an rather than a circular one.

Like any full moon, the supermoon will look bigger when it's on or near the horizon rather than higher in the sky, thanks to an , Chester noted. The full moon appears on the horizon at sunset. On the East coast, for example, that will be a bit before 8 p.m. Saturday.

The supermoon will bring unusually high tides because of its closeness and its alignment with the sun and Earth, but the effect will be modest, Chester said.

The last supermoon, on March 19, 2011, was about 240 miles closer than this year's will be. Next year's will be a bit farther away than this year's.

But no matter how far away a full moon is, it's not going to make people kill themselves or others, commit other crimes, get admitted to a psychiatric hospital or do anything else that popular belief suggests, a psychologist says.

Studies that have tried to document such connections have found "pretty much a big mound of nothing, as far as I can tell," said Scott Lilienfeld of Emory University.

Lilienfeld, an author of "50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology," said the notion of full moons causing bizarre behavior ranks among the top 10 myths because "it's so widely held and it's held with such conviction."

Why do people cling to the idea?

Lilienfeld said a key reason could be the way people pay attention to things. If something unusual happens to occur during a full moon, people who believe the myth take note and remember, even telling other people because it confirms their ideas. But when another appears and nothing out of the ordinary occurs, "they're not very likely to remember" or point it out to others.

So in the end, he said, all they remember are the coincidences.

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rpreston
1 / 5 (2) May 04, 2012
There are proposed human behavioral changes associated with the Full Moon. I'll be observing both the Moon and my Neighborhood during this event... I wonder if a bigger Moon would manifest a greater effect?
Irukanji
1 / 5 (3) May 04, 2012
There are proposed human behavioral changes associated with the Full Moon. I'll be observing both the Moon and my Neighborhood during this event... I wonder if a bigger Moon would manifest a greater effect?


According to "science", the moon has little-to-no effects by itself(in terms of gravity and other effects). However, spending more than 5 minutes outside in a populated area on a full moon will show plenty of lunatics roaming around lol.

If you ask any cops, most of them will tell you they dread the full moon because of the amount of crazies who come out at that time. And it happens every full moon, without fail.

As to whether a bigger moon would have a greater effect, it is unlikely. However it will be slightly brighter at night, and light as night seems to be the main culprit behind he crazies being out in force.

Lets face it, our bodies see light and think it is daytime, and if it is supposed to be night then it doesn't know what to do.

Source: 21 years on earth.
elektron
1 / 5 (3) May 04, 2012
There is an ancient connection with the menstrual cycle and full moon which in turn affects hormone balance with possible emotional consequences.
A2G
1 / 5 (3) May 05, 2012
Anyone who would deny as association between the full moon and weird behavior can not be truly called a scientist. As stated in previous posts, there is no doubt a drastic change in behavior when there is a full moon.

One day a true scientist will reveal the true physical reason for this phenomena. It will then be science. It will be fact.

It is a fact now, the true reason behind it is hidden for now. But we will find it.

It must have to do with some change in hidden forces that we are getting at that time when the earth is almost between the moon and the sun. Some kind of weird eddy current in that mysterious force flowing from the sun around the earth and then towards the moon.

In that little pocket something changes and it freaks us all out a bit, just some more than others.

Lets go figure it out.

Cheers,

Or should I say hooowwwllllll!
Russkiycremepuff
1 / 5 (1) May 05, 2012
Quite personally, I enjoy a full moon. The brighter it is, the more I enjoy it. It illuminates things that may hide criminals and such. But I also enjoy the light for its own reason, because it is part of our solar system, and influences the tides. The earth would be a far different place without our moon.
I will be outside tonight to take pictures of moon and enlarge the best ones.
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (1) May 05, 2012
Super moon = Super werewolves. If anyone needs me I'll be at the Olive Garden filling up on anti-werewolf garlic........... and maybe anti-werewolf bread sticks.

Seriously though, the effects of a full moon on Humans is nonsense. If anything, it's purely psychological.

1.) The moons gravity is not changing in any appreciable magnitude.

2.) The light from the moon is normal sunlight, reflected.

Those two methods are the ways in which the moon interacts with humans. Those two attributes are unchanged except for more light.

If there is data showing increased crime, it may because more light means more people are outside at night. If cops think it is worse, it may be they think that because they have been preconditioned to think full moons mean crazier nights. Most likely the nights are no more crazy than average or once a crazy night coincidentally happened during a full moon, forever biasing the officers.