News

Saturday 'supermoon' nothing to fear

Astronomer Dave Reneke says the moon on March 19 will be at its closest to the Earth since 1992. It will appear slightly bigger and brighter, but will not bring the chaos some fear mongers have predicted.
Astronomer Dave Reneke says the moon on March 19 will be at its closest to the Earth since 1992. It will appear slightly bigger and brighter, but will not bring the chaos some fear mongers have predicted. Stefan Seip

ON SATURDAY night, the Moon will be closer to Earth than it has been in 19 years, but it won't look much different – and it certainly won't cause an apocalypse.

North Coast-based writer for Australian Science Magazine Dave Reneke said he wants to debunk the “supermoon” myth doing the rounds on the internet, which claims the Moon's close proximity to the Earth may trigger earthquakes, floods or volcanic eruptions.

The idea was spawned by US astrologer Richard Nolle, who claims there is a link between natural disasters and “supermoons”.

Since then the internet has been flooded with speculation linking the movement of the Moon to extreme weather events including Hurricane Katrina and the Hunter Valley floods.

“Supermoon is a term coined by an astrologer, not an astronomer, and it has no scientific merit whatsoever,” Mr Reneke said.

“The warnings are total nonsense ... the movement of the Moon cannot be directly linked with disastrous tidal waves, volcanic eruptions or even earthquakes.

“If you try hard enough you can associate any disaster in history to any celestial object.

"The Moon has come close to the Earth thousands of times in the past with no ill effects.”

Mr Reneke said the only truth was that the Moon would be a few thousand kilometres closer to Earth than normal – about 356,577kms away, compared with an average distance of about 380,000km.

All that could be expected would be slightly higher and marginally lower tides.

The Moon will also be about 15% brighter than usual and slightly bigger.

“So grab your binoculars and the kids head out into your backyard for a good view ... and leave the insurance policy inside,” he said.



Going organic: $4m university research centre announced

Southern Cross university and NSW Dept Primary Industries celebrate their coming together to create the Centre for Organics Research at the Lismore campus. L-R Prof Graham King, Vice Chancellor Prof Adam Shoemaker, Dr Phil Wright, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Prof Geraldine Mackenzie, Chancellor Nick Burton Taylor AM, Hon Thomas George MP and Lorraine Gordon.

Shedding its hippy roots, organic food goes under the microscope

3.5m great white shark spotted near divers

Mark Ross took this photo off Shelly Beach, Ballina, this morning, of what is believed to be a boat installing shark nets.

DPI promises measures to reduce deaths of "non target" animals

Festival sale will 'ruin' Byron Bay: LETTER

The Falls Festival at North Byron Parklands.

"Byron will be ruined and ratepayers will carry the costs"

Local Partners

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing for destroyed sex life

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing her former manager

Festival sale will 'ruin' Byron Bay: LETTER

The Falls Festival at North Byron Parklands.

"Byron will be ruined and ratepayers will carry the costs"

Azealia Banks' battery case against Russell Crowe dropped

Russell Crowe will not be charged with battery

Lismore's carols get the X Factor

Sydney pop duo Jess Dunbar and Matt Price, known from the 2015 season of Australia’s X Factor, will perform at the 2016 Shopbaby Carols in the Heart at Lismore.

X Factor stars Jess and Matt to headline the family event

Mel Gibson named Best Director at AACTA Awards

Mel Gibson poses in the media room after winning the AACTA Award for Best Direction for Hacksaw Ridge.

HIS wartime drama Hacksaw Ridge sweeps 6th annual awards in Sydney.

Mark Hamill unaware his co-stars were romantically involved

Hamill too "self-involved" at the time to notice, he said

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!