The perigee Full Moon aka The Supermoon Watch

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A public skywatch with telescopes, and a live planetarium show with full dome visuals will be organized by Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, in collaboration with Aperture Telescopes and the Amateur Astronomers Association, Delhi, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on the 19th of March 2011, to better view and rationalize the Perigee Full Moon falling on this date.
Following the many fears and misconceptions that are doing the rounds of the media, relating two independent events – the disastrous 9 magnitude earthquake and the tsunami that occurred in Japan on the 11th of March 2011, and the perigee Full Moon falling on the 19th-20th of March 2011, the planetarium and amateur astronomers feel it necessary to dispel misconceptions, clarify the disconnect between the two events for the public, and help them view the perigee full moon in a scientific spirit.

Regardless of any correlation that may exist or otherwise, there is also the point to ponder, that minute increase in any tidal forces that may happen due to the relative near approach of the Moon and Full Moon/New Moon phase, cannot in any physical way cause quakes 10-15 days prior to this near approach and alignment. So, drawing conclusions from just two data points – that of the nearness of dates of the perigee full moon and earthquake in March 2007, and that of the nearness of the perigee new Moon of January 2005 and the tsunami of December 2004 – would be completely meaningless. No inferences should ever be drawn from looking at just two data points – any statistical correlation has to be checked over a number of data points.

Some students working with the planetarium are also compiling earthquake and Moon related data, to visualize and check whether any kind of a correlation at all exists between the Moon related data and earthquakes, looking at data for the last hundred years and more.

Results from this work, as well as general Moon related interesting information, will also be displayed as a small exhibition during the skywatch at the planetarium, on the 19th of March.

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