The astronomical event of the year — Monday’s supermoon, when the full moon comes closest to Earth in almost 70 years — is sure to have some kind of pull on people, even if it’s just psychological.
The moon will appear 30 percent larger than the smallest full moon this year, according to sky-watchers, and it won’t get this close again for another two decades.
There are three supermoons at the end of this year — all moons that come within 224,641 miles of us, says Earthsky.org — and like the October moon, Monday’s will appear larger when it’s low on the horizon. This one takes the prize, however. Expect it to light up the yard all night, for three nights.
The word lunatic is an ancient reference to the affect the moon might have on human behavior, but International Business Times reports with confidence such a phenomenon belongs to superstitious people.
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Tides are highest during new and full moons, but that’s the pull the moon has on the Earth’s largest bodies of water. Smaller bodies, even those the size of the Great Lakes, aren’t as sensitive to the pull.
According to Live Science, study after study has debunked the notion that more people check into psychiatric wards or emergency rooms during full moons, and even the notion of sleep being interrupted took a hit in a 2016 study of children’s sleep patterns during a full moon. It included children in several countries.
Hospital nurses and techs in psychiatric wards have their own view of the issue, but their proof is largely anecdotal.
There was a study published in the British Medical Journal, however, that showed animal bites sent twice as many people to emergency rooms in England during full moons.
National Geographic agrees the “super-duper” November moon is a must see, but it also offers plenty of other reasons to look into the night sky this month:
▪ Friday — Taurid Meteor Shower
▪ Nov. 15 — Bull’s-Eye with the moon near the constellation Taurus
▪ Nov. 15 — Leonid Meteor Shower
▪ Nov. 18 — Buzzing the Beehive, the moon near an open star cluster
▪ Nov. 21 — Lion’s Heart, the moon near the constellation Leo
▪ Nov. 23 — Mercury meets Saturn
▪ Nov. 25 — The moon and Jupiter