Yesterday's supermoon did not cause any disasters

Talk about a once-in-a-blue moon event. This morning at 2am the moon made its closest approach to the Earth in 18 years.

While expected to appear bigger and brighter, the so-called "super moon" poses no threat of increasing the likelihood of natural disasters, local scientists said yesterday in response to online rumor claiming the orbit could trigger natural disasters such as storms, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

There are three previous cases within the past century when the moon's path came even closer to the Earth than a last night, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

However, no major earthquakes registering above 6.0 on Richter scale occurred within a one month before or after the moon reaching its closest point, according to the CWB.

The super moon looks larger than normal since its distance from the Earth will stand at just 356,577 kilometers - 50,000 kms closer than the maximum distance between moon and the Earth, the CWB said.

Scientists had estimated that the full moon is expected to appear 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than ordinary.

However, scientists also noted that one can hardly tell the difference if viewing the moon with the naked eye.

The super moon is also expected to cause some abnormally high tides, which could reach as much as 15 centimeters higher than average.

However, stargazers in Taiwan were expected to have a difficult time in viewing the largest moon since 1993 as thick cloud cover was expected to hamper visibility, especially in the north

Taipei Astronomical Museum Director Chiu Kuo-kuang said his museum was scheduled to open its astronomical telescope to the public from 7pm to 9pm last night, to give locals the chance to witness the rarely seen view.

-The China Post/ANN

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