Fueling the nutjobs (biggest full moon in 20 years)

Ktulu
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Fueling the nutjobs (biggest full moon in 20 years)

 This is a popsci.com article from a few days ago.  In light of the new natural disaster the irony is painful.  Anyways, hindsight being 20/20 you can grin at the coincidences.

Here's The link:

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-03/biggest-full-moon-20-years-almost-certainly-wont-cause-huge-natural-disaster

Here's a little quote from the article in case you're too lazy to click on the link ( I usually am ).

Quote:

Past supermoons have coincided with natural disasters--the Indonesian earthquake in 2005, Australian flooding in 1954--but scientists note that those are unrelated, more likely than not.Says John Bellini, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey: "A lot of studies have been done on this kind of thing by USGS scientists and others. They haven't found anything significant at all." The tides will pull a bit higher, but earthquakes are almost completely unaffected and volcanoes are not likely to show unusual behavior. John Vidale, a seismologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, said "Practically speaking, you'll never see any effect of lunar perigee. It's somewhere between 'It has no effect' and 'It's so small you don't see any effect.'"

 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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I met a Christian that tried

I met a Christian that tried to come up with rational objective reasons for belief. Their top reason was because the Sun and Moon take up the same area in the sky when viewed from earth. "Just too much of a coincidence to not have been designed that way".

The exact ratio varies quite a bit. This article says the moon's area as much as 14%. Only an approximate coincidence. Just like the earthquake happening a week early.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:I met a Christian

EXC wrote:

I met a Christian that tried to come up with rational objective reasons for belief. Their top reason was because the Sun and Moon take up the same area in the sky when viewed from earth. "Just too much of a coincidence to not have been designed that way".

The exact ratio varies quite a bit. This article says the moon's area as much as 14%. Only an approximate coincidence. Just like the earthquake happening a week early.

Yea an all those meteor impacts you can see with the naked eye were "designed" as well.

Sell someone a comic book super hero and they will cling to it tooth and nail and make up any crap they can to justify it.

 

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 Well, I have no idea where

 

Well, I have no idea where that come from but it is rip for nitpicking.

 

Quote:
On March 19th, the moon will be closer to Earth than it's been since 1992.

 

Bzzzt! Wrong!

 

The moon has an orbital period of 29.5306 days. I did not need to google that as I am an astronomer. I know the orbital period of the moon to less than ten seconds.

 

During that time, the moon has a closest approach. There is no real reason why it has to coincide with the full moon but that is a bit more complicated that I could explain easily.

 

Quote:
The full moon that night will appear about 14 percent larger and significantly brighter than usual,

 

Agreed.

 

Quote:
but despite the brightness, the supermoon has a dark side. Supermoons have been linked to massive natural disasters in the past, from earthquakes to floods--but that connection is typically touted by astrologists.

 

Agreed about the astrologer bit. Just not about the assertion.

 

Quote:
Astronomers and scientists, with typical drollness, say a catastrophe is unlikely.

 

Agreed.

 

Quote:
March 19th marks this year's lunar perigee, the point in the moon's orbit at which it is closest to Earth.

 

Well, it is a perigee. However, there are rougly 12.36 perigees every year. So this is not the one that belongs to this year.

 

Quote:
It's the moon's elliptical orbit that's responsible for the differences in distance between the moon and Earth (the opposite, the point at which the moon is farthest from the Earth, is called the lunar apogee).

 

OK, that much is accurate.

 

Quote:
This month's perigee

 

Then why did he just talk about “this year's perigee”?

 

Quote:
will leave the moon, says Steve Owens at Dark Sky Diary, about 8 percent closer to Earth than usual, and about 2 percent closer to Earth than the average lunar perigee.

 

Well yes,

 

The exact date and distance vary from time to time. Mostly because of the influence of the sun.

 

Quote:
In fact, it'll be the closest positioning since 1992.

 

I would have to look that up. Since I have already established that this is not a good example of journalistic inquiry (couldn't he have bothered to call his local observatory or planetarium in order to get his facts straight before publishing this piece of shit?), I shall not bother.

 

Quote:
Past supermoons have coincided with natural disasters

 

Some of them probably. Now explain why there is no detectable natural disaster every 29.5306 days. Bet he can't find that pattern.

 

Quote:
--the Indonesian earthquake in 2005, Australian flooding in 1954--

 

OK, that is two things. There is still not a pattern.

 

Quote:
but scientists note that those are unrelated, more likely than not.

 

I am really glad that he got that much down. Now he needs to check with an astronomer. I would recommend that he email Niel Degrasse Tyson. Tyson is not know for handing someone his ass like Dawkins. Rather, Tyson is a patient explanier. If out intrepid wannabe journalist said where he is writing for, Tyson might even take twenty minutes oon the phone with him tyo help him to understand the error of his ways.

 

Quote:
Says John Bellini, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey: "A lot of studies have been done on this kind of thing by USGS scientists and others. They haven't found anything significant at all."

 

I really doubt that. This is such total shit that it is not worth wasting money on doing the studies. Also, who is John Bellini? The citation is to a blog called “life's little mysteries” which does not further track this dude down. Perhaps google can find this but I shall not bother for now.

 

Quote:
The tides will pull a bit higher, but earthquakes are almost completely unaffected and volcanoes are not likely to show unusual behavior.

 

Well of course, the tides will come in and the tides will go out. Roughly every six hours. What that tells us is that there is nothing to see here.

 

Quote:
John Vidale, a seismologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, said "Practically speaking, you'll never see any effect of lunar perigee. It's somewhere between 'It has no effect' and 'It's so small you don't see any effect.'"

 

And we have no clue where he got that from as he did not bother to link his source. Again, he may be legit but I refuse to waste time googling the matter.

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Ktulu
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 I just want to point out

 I just want to point out that never for a second have I thought this to be factual.  If that were the case there would be a strong scientific backing, and not some vague article on a website.  But all that you said just reinforces that opinion.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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 Agreed.   However, that

 

Agreed.

 

However, that website seems to be pretending to be factual. This does not help in any way.

 

We need to get the truth out wherever it needs to happen. Poking holes in stupid things can only be good. Shall I assume that that site is part of Popular Science Magazine?

 

They have been full of shit since the day that they were founded.

 

America (and the world) need to be aware of what science is.

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Ktulu
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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

 

Agreed.

 

However, that website seems to be pretending to be factual. This does not help in any way.

 

We need to get the truth out wherever it needs to happen. Poking holes in stupid things can only be good. Shall I assume that that site is part of Popular Science Magazine?

 

They have been full of shit since the day that they were founded.

 

America (and the world) need to be aware of what science is.

The one and only, www.popsci.com.  They're not completely lacking in scientific entertainment.  I like their DIY mods articles and most of the 'best of gadgets' lists... everything else has to be taken with a grain of salt, but that goes for all shit on the internet.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc