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Moon at annual perigee this weekend

No need to duck, panic, batten down for mega-tides

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If you stumble out of the pub this weekend and the moon appears unusually large, there's no need to swear off the strong stuff.

Instead, contemplate the wonder that is Lunar perigee, the moment at which the moon approaches closer to Earth than on any other day of the year.

This year's perigee takes place on May 5th and 6th, when our sole satellite will approach to within 356,953 km of the Earth.

While some say that these close approaches, or "supermoons" as some insist on calling them, produce odd behaviour, monster tides, earthquakes and other phenomena, the NASA video below says that tides will rise only a few centimetres and that there's no link between increases in crime and close moon approaches.

For what it is worth, this appears to be a pretty close moon approach. After playing with Fourmilab's Lunar Perigee and Apogee Calculator, we learned that in March 2011, Luna made it to within 356,577 km of our small blue marble in space. But in most years, the moon stays more than 357,000 kilometres away: dips into the 356,000 kilometre range don't happen every year. ®

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