Ever since the dawn of mankind, the moon has exerted a powerful grip on our imaginations. Its proximity to our planet, its changing shape and its extraordinary beauty have all had a profound impact on our culture.
‘Oh swear not by the moon, the fickle moon, the inconstant moon, that monthly changes in her circle orb,’ wrote Shakespeare in the 16th century, reflecting this long-held fascination with the cycles of our nearest satellite.
That fascination will be intense again tonight, because the moon will be closer to Earth than at any time since 1992 — and will therefore appear in the sky to be much bigger than usual.
Read the rest of the story: Supermoon: Did tonight’s lunar perigee cause Japan’s tsunami?.