Cyclone Ockhi and Supermoon incident


India has been in the grip of natural calamities since past few weeks. First, it came with the cyclone Ockhi which was the most fierce tropical cyclone in the Arabian Sea. Then, earthquake tremors were felt in northern parts of India measuring 5.5 magnitudes in intensity. Though earthquake did not affect much the cyclone-affected many parts of India hammering heavy rains on the coasts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Lakshadweep. Its approach towards India started around the end of November 2017. It was then in December 2017 when the government of India issued an official warning to north-west states as meteorological sources marked the cyclone’s direction towards Gujarat and Maharashtra and were expected to intensify further.

Soon, Goa suffered damage to the coastal areas due to rise in sea-water level. But the noticeable matter was that even if the cyclone had not reached Goa, the coasts would have suffered wreckage. The prevailing reason was the unusual day of December 3rd, 2017 which was noted as the ‘SUPERMOON DAY’.

The supermoon is a full moon or new moon when Moon is with its closest approach to the Earth in its elliptical orbit. On this day, it is seen larger than its usual size. This point technically is known as ‘perigee’ and the event is also known as ‘Full Wolf Moon’ or ‘Old Wolf Moon’. No doubt, the activity of sea tides is associated with the gravitational pull of Earth’s natural satellite, Moon. Its pull makes the water in the oceans bump resulting in high and low tides. But the force of gravitational pull boosts on full moon days i.e. when the Moon, the Earth and the Sun are aligned. On this ground, the pull of Sun counts along with the gravitational pull of the Moon producing maximum tides. Although the tidal effect of Sun is much smaller than that of Moon still it increases the pull originating high tides.

Thus, Goa would have suffered destruction and suffering in near-by coastal shacks even in absence of cyclone Ockhi. Certainly, it added fuel to the fire.

People observed the last supermoon for this year on December 3rd,2017 which was marked as the beginning of supermoons as people will get to entertain it next month not once but twice. The first one will be on the New Year’s Day welcoming us in 2018 i.e. January 1st,2018 and second one marking the end of the month i.e. January 31st,2018. Hence, New Year will observe a ‘blue super moon’ where two full moons are observed twice in a month.

Stargazers may cherish this stellar event where they can monitor natural satellite larger than its usual proportion.