Kolkata: The full moon would appear brighter and bigger than usual, may be 16 per cent larger on March 19, when it would move closest to the earth in the last 18 years.

The astronomical event on the evening of Holi would be offering a special treat for the skygazers.

Moon goes round the earth in an elliptic orbit and that makes it come closer to the blue planet, the closest point being termed as the perigee, M P Birla Planetarium director D P Duari said.

The average distance between the moon and the earth is around 3,84,440 kms. "But at the perigee, the distance can be close to around 3,57,000 km," he said.

"On March 19, in addition to being a full moon, it will also be at the perigee and the earth-moon distance will be around 3,56,577 kms, which is the closest in the past 18 years," he said.

"The last time moon was close to the earth on a full moon day was on March 8, 1993," Duari said.

Rubbishing speculations that the closeness of the moon will lead to severe storms, earthquakes, volcanoes and natural disasters, the planetarium director said, "Given the decrease in the distance, which is imperceptibly small, it is believed that there is nothing to fear about the moon coming closer."

However, he quoted the scientists to say that there may be a marginal increase in tidal action, but was not dangerous for triggering a major natural calamity.


(Agencies)