People across the country on Monday night climbed up rooftops for catching a peculiar glimpse of the ‘supermoon’, a rare phenomenon occurred after 68 years.
According to a spokesman for the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the phenomenon happens when the moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee – its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit. He said the moon on Monday evening at 18:52 PST came closer to the Earth, and appeared 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a full normal moon.
The moon was the closest to Earth since 1948 at a distance of 356,509 km (221,524 miles), creating what NASA described as “an extra-supermoon”. The last such supermoon was seen in 1948. The next time people will get a chance to experience a supermoon will be on November 25, 2034. Meanwhile, professional astronomers were at the ready at observatories across the region to explain the phenomenon to curious members of the public.
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In Thailand, astrologers were variously predicting the supermoon would bring Soraja Nuan-yoo, renowned for predicting the 2004 tsunami that killed many in Thailand and other countries round the Indian Ocean, warned that when the moon gets close to the Earth, “natural disasters happen”. The supermoon also means a stronger high tide, something that gets surfers giddy with excitement, not only at the prospect of riding bigger waves, but doing so at night. Forecasters had predicted higher than usual tides on Indonesia’s Bali, a favourite with surfers. -dailytimes