The supermoon will light up the sky in a beautiful spectacle on Sunday but may also act as a catalyst to Earth’s terrifying and dramatic conclusion, according to ancient legend.Lunar activity is said to mark the End of Time, with some religious groups believing it to be a sign of the Judgement Day.
It occurs when the moon’s path of orbit leads it to sweep dangerously close to Earth causing tides to rise and the crust of the planet to shift.The Bible gives terrifying warnings of impending doom signalled by rare and foreboding cycles of the moon.
Joel 2:10 states: “Before them the earth quakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and the moon grow dark and the stars lose their brightness.”In Acts 2:20 it is written: “‘The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.”
Revelation 6:12 warns: “I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood.”Supermoons have been proven to cause sea levels to rise as the gravitational pull of the Earth’s closest neighbour increases as it gets closer.
Such events have been linked to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and devastating tidal waves including the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.A catastrophic earthquake ripped open the ground beneath Indonesia before a supermoon, officially called a perigee moon, appeared on January 10, 2005. It was followed by a devastating tsunami.
This weekend’s super moon will also coincide with the arrival of Storm Bertha currently hurtling across the Atlantic and due to rip into Britain on Sunday morning.The ex-tropical storm threatens to unleash 70mph gales and torrential downpours dumping more than half a month’s worth of rain in a few hours.
Fierce winds during already high spring tides will whip up colossal sea waves capable of tumbling over sea defences.When the moon reaches its closest approach to earth at around 6pm on Sunday it will be just 221,765 miles away and will appear 16 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than usual.
Astronomers are expected to be lapping up the event which will see the moon travel 863 miles closer to the earth than normal.
Tom Kerss, astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, explained there have been three supermoons so far this year, two in January and one in July.If ancient prophecies don’t come true and the world doesn’t end on Sunday, there will be another next month, he added.He said: “A supermoon occurs during the moon’s elliptical path when it is at it’s closest to Earth.”With a telescope it will appear bigger and brighter than a normal full moon and there will be a bit more moonlight.”It will be a very beautiful event and an excellent opportunity to photograph the full moon or a beautiful moonlight scene.“We shouldn’t be too worried about legends and the end of the world, there may be an effect on the high tide although the storm this weekend will probably have more of an impact.”
However many believe the supermoon is an omen of a terrible event and even the end of the world.
Pastor John Hagee, author of the controversial book Four Blood Moons, maintains messages in the Bible say God “does actively control the sun, the moon and the stars in order to speak to us”.
He said unusual lunar patterns are a signal “that something is about to happen that will change the course of history”.
The Perseid meteor shower is one of the highlights of the year for astronomers producing a spectacular light show in the heavens.
Around 100 meteors per hour appear as debris left by the comet Swift-Tuttle hits the Earth’s atmosphere and burns up.
However this year it may be less of a firework display coming two days after the supermoon when the sky will still be bright.
The best time to see the meteors is when there is not much other light in the sky.