• Question: why is the moon so close to the earth at the moment

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      Asked by 979newg29 to Aoife, Brian, Conor, Louise, Matthew on 16 Nov 2016. This question was also asked by ?Abby?.
      • Photo: Aoife Lucid

        Aoife Lucid answered on 16 Nov 2016:

        The moon is really close to earth at the moment because 2 events have coincided. A new moon (which happens once a month, also called a full moon) and the moon is at the closest point to the earth on its orbit. The moon goes around the planet on what is called an elliptical orbit, this means it doesn’t go around the earth in a perfect circle and gets close to the earth at certain times , this picture (hopefully) gives you an idea what I’m talking about .

        So the supermoon is happening because of 2 events which haven’t coincided since 1948 and won’t coincide again until 2034!

      • Photo: Louise Mc Grath

        Louise Mc Grath answered on 16 Nov 2016:


        A supermoon is a new or full moon closely coinciding with perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit. We are meant to have more this year if we consider the definition of a supermoon to be: a new or full moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (perigee)

        According to the definition of supermoon coined by Nolle, the year 2016 has a total of six supermoons. The new moons of March, April and May and the full moons of October, November and December all qualify as supermoons.

        Louise =)

      • Photo: Matthew Kitching

        Matthew Kitching answered on 18 Nov 2016:

        Hi Abby and 979newg29

        sorry for the late reply – I’ve been having problems with the website!

        I think Aofie and louise have given you an awesome answer! theres not much more for me to add!

        Many people believe that the supermoon is a bad omen! And that its linked to natural disasters! there have been tsunami’s and earthquakes around the 2004 and 2011 supermoons, so people have been saying its a bad thing! However, theres no science reason we know that links them together in a statistically significant way!

        But maybe your if you became a scientist you could prove or disprove a link between the super moon and disaster? are you up for the challenge?