As you know, the Moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth. The interest of people in the nearest space neighbor is quite understandable. The overwhelming majority of earthlings know from childhood such concepts as new moon and full moon. However, the recently appeared new fashionable term - supermoon - is not familiar to everyone. So what is this - a supermoon?
The Earth and its only natural satellite, the Moon, form a gravitationally bound system. Both planets revolve around a common center of mass, 4700 km from the center of the Earth. The moon moves around our planet in an elliptical orbit. The lunar month is 27, 3 earth days. The point in the orbit at which the moon comes closest to the Earth is called perigee. The point of greatest distance is the apogee. The distance from the Earth to the Moon when the latter moves in orbit is from 356 400 to 406 700 km.
The Sun is the central object of the nearest space, and also affects the Earth-Moon gravitational system. As a result of solar exposure, the precession of the lunar orbit occurs. For a period equal to 18, 6 Earth years, the plane of the lunar orbit describes a circle in space. Accordingly, the distance to perigee is constantly changing. Periodically, the Moon is closest to the Earth. If its presence at perigee coincides with the full moon phase, a phenomenon called a supermoon is observed.
At this time, due to the fact that the distance between the Earth and its satellite is shrinking, the Moon visually increases in size by almost 14% and becomes almost a third brighter. The phenomenon is observed approximately every six months. But in 2014 there will be several supermoons –1 and 30 January, 19 March, 12 July, 10 August and 9 September. However, all of them will not occur at the minimum distance from the Earth. In other words, a supermoon is not always a super feat. Over the past 400 years, the closest position of the Moon relative to the Earth was observed in January 1912.
Scientists cannot yet assert whether it is by chance that the passage of the Earth's satellite perigee on a full moon quite often coincides with various cataclysms on Earth. An example of this is the devastating earthquakes in Sumatra, Haiti, Chile and Japan between 2004 and 2011. Of course, such events cannot be predicted based on the motion of the moon alone.
But one cannot ignore the fact that the tidal processes, which, as is known, occur under the influence of the moon, occur not only in the ocean, but also in the bowels of the earth. At the same time, a huge amount of energy is concentrated in the earth's crust, and even a slight increase in it due to tides can provoke a catastrophe.
By the way, the term "supermoon" was first used by Richard Nole in 1979 to denote the greatest gravitational influence of the moon on the Earth.