Monday, January 12, 2009

Perigee Full Moon blamed for rough waters off Trinidad and Tobago

Still looking for a more interesting take for those for whom January's Full Moon at Perigee is delightful but hardly news word has arrived from Dr. Maura Imbert, president of the Astronomical Society of Trinidad and Tobago.

From The Trinidad News:
Expert blames full moon for rough waters

As the moon moved to its closest point to the earth over the weekend, higher-than-usual tides were experienced, Dr Maura Imbert, president of the Astronomical Society of Trinidad and Tobago, said yesterday.

In a brief telephone interview, Imbert said:

"As the moon makes its orbit, there is a point when it comes its closest to the earth; this is called perigee."

"On January 11, the moon was at its closest to the earth; but what I think is important to know is that it causes very high tides. Extremely high tides were expected between yesterday, today and probably tomorrow."

Imbert said those out at sea should take precautionary measures, as should beach goers, as the tide is also expected to come very high up the beach during this time.

All of this, she explained, is due to gravity.

"The tides are pulled by the gravity of the moon and the sun; so when the moon is closest to the earth the tides are a lot higher."

This, she said, can also cause coastal flooding if accompanied by high winds and can even trigger earthquakes and volcanoes.

Imbert added that the tides are not expected to be as high again until June and July 22, when the moon will once again come very close to the earth.

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