|Birds against Supermoon. Credit: Taken by Flickr photographer Don Kittle|
It later occurred to me that the tides are stronger when Supermoon happens and so his fear might not have been unreasonable if we had lived on a house close to the ocean or been on a boat vs. in Switzerland. Of course, his fear is not unreasonable anyway because he is a five year old child and it's OK to be afraid of a bigger Moon if you are five. It just surprised me that I could not convince him to not be afraid.
When does "Supermoon" happen? and how big is it?
|Source: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov; Sun: bright yellow, Moon: purple, Earth: Blue|
Supermoon happens once a year. In general, the full moon and the perigree moon do not coincide exactly. So, the size of Supermoon does vary. However, Supermoon is not huge. NASA says the 2012 Supermoon is only about 14% larger than a typical full moon at its furthest point and about 30% brighter than the other full Moons of 2012, which makes it seem bigger.
Does David have a point? Should we be afraid of Supermoon?
The combined effects of the Sun and the Moon will be the strongest of the year when Supermoon happens. The tides are stronger than at any other time of the year. Supermoon did ground a few ships last year. However, no correlations have been found between Supermoon and Earthquakes or Tsunami or any other natural disaster. So, while we should be cautious if we are on a ship or on the beach and it's Supermoon night, Supermoon does not seem to be something we should fear. David did relax and forgot about his fear when we were back inside. He and Edward spent the rest of the evening jumping around the house and screaming "jumping monkey" until they were tired enough to go to sleep.