DOOMSAYERS and academics, prepare for battle.
It’s that time of year again when the moon looks a little bigger and sends witches, Morris dancers and homeopaths scurrying for cover and a cold flannel.
On the other side of the fence, cranky astronomers spend their day brushing off questions from journalists about why the lunar perigree seems to coincide with natural disasters.
Hello, Moonageddon. Or SuperMoon, if you prefer, the term coined by astrologer Richard Nolle back in 1979.
On Sunday in Australia at 1.30pm (eastern time), the moon will be just 356,955km away from the Earth, one of its closest brushes in 18 years.
Coincidentally, it will also be a full moon that night, the exact conditions under which we’re allowed to use Nolle’s “SuperMoon” moniker.
Astronomers prefer to call it perigree-syzygy.
And they definitely don’t want Earthlings to link its appearance last year to Japan’s 9.0 earthquake, which occurred just a week before a SuperMoon.
Or the New England hurricane in 1938, or the Hunter Valley floods of 1955, both of which happened within days of a perigree-syzygy.
But in a sense, the SuperMoon is magical, because if you view it while it’s on the horizon, through some trees or near a building, it’s, well, spectacular.
Bigger and brighter, for reasons that even astronomers and psychologists are yet to explain.
All that will happen is the moon will appear 16 per cent brighter and exert 42 per cent more influence on the tides due to its increased gravitational force.
And websites and newspapers will call for and run loads of beautiful free shots from amateur photographers, like this: