For centuries, scientists and researchers have sought out answers as to how to predict exactly when and where an earthquake will strike.
One astrologer, Richard Noelle, believes he may have found the answer to this unsolved problem and other natural disasters in his study of the “supermoon.”
Although Noelle’s hypothesis offers some very unique viewpoints, scientists have said there is no correlation between the effects of a supermoon and natural disasters like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. A supermoon, also known as “perigee syzygy,” is a full moon that is at its closet point to the Earth while in its orbit. A normal supermoon appears once a month when a full moon overlaps the earth. What made the recent March 19 supermoon special was that it was closer to the earth than it had been in over 18 years. This means that the supermoon appeared 14 percent bigger, 30 percent brighter and resulted in tidal forces being slightly larger in high and low tides.
Noelle stirred speculation when he claimed that the March 19 supermoon was to blame for the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan eight days prior. According to his website, Noelle believes that the natural world flows according to the sway of the supermoon’s alignment to the earth. This in turn has caused many natural catastrophes such as great storms, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions worldwide throughout history.
To prove his point, Noelle has used many examples of current natural disasters that have occurred during the same time frame as a supermoon. For example, Noelle says a supermoon that occurred over the Feb. 12-21 period is to blame for the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck New Zealand on Feb. 22 , 2011.
Although Noelle offers many examples of natural disasters which inexplicably happened around the same time as a supermoon, scientists have been quick to dispute Noelle’s theory and any correlation between supermoons and natural disasters. Scientist and senior meteorologist for AccuWeather, Inc. Paul Walker said in an interview that, “there is no connection between the moon’s position and Japan’s earthquake.”
Walker’s statement was echoed by chief scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Dr. James Garvin. Garvin said, “The effects on Earth from a supermoon are minor, and according to the most detailed studies by terrestrial seismologists and volcanologists, the combination of the moon being at its closest to Earth in its orbit, and being in its ‘full moon’ configuration (relative to the Earth and sun), should not affect the internal energy balance of the Earth, since there are lunar tides every day.”
Northwestern professor Dr. Todd Tracy believes that if Noelle’s hypothesis were to be true, science professionals would be performing studies to warn people of when natural disasters may occur.
For many scientists, it can be frustrating not knowing exactly when and where a natural disaster will strike next, but many of them believe the answers they seek cannot be found or explained so easily as it is in the supermoon hypothesis presented by Noelle.