English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips > 每日播报

'Super moon' wows stargazers

[ 2012-05-07 10:44] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009


Stargazers across China enjoyed an exceptionally large full moon on Sunday while experts dismissed concerns that the astronomical phenomenon could cause natural disasters.

The over-sized moon was the result of a rare coincidence in which the moon becomes full at a time when it is at the point nearest to the Earth, or the perigee, said Zhang Yang, an expert from the Purple Mountain Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The moon becomes full every 29 and a half days and approaches the perigee on its elliptical orbit almost every 28 days, said Zhang.

The moon was only 357,000 kilometers from the Earth at 11:35 am, 27,000 km less than the average distance, said Wang Sichao, a researcher of the same observatory, in a report by the Beijing News.

"The moon appeared to be 16 percent bigger than normal," Wang said.

Although the moon moved farther away from the Earth after 11:35 am, people in China were still able to view an enlarged full moon on Sunday night, Zhang said.

A similar event happened on March 19 last year, when the moon was as close as 356,000 km from the Earth, the closest encounter since 1992.

The "extreme super moon" caused discussion among Web users, some of whom believed it could lead to earthquakes and volcanoes.

"It is true the moon can cause some impact on Earth when it is nearest to the planet like today," said Zhang. "For example, the shape and composition of the Earth will change slightly, which may lead to geological changes."

When the moon is at the closest point, it produces a bigger impact on the planet, and this can cause changes in the shape and inner structure of the Earth in some places, Zhang said.

The moon could also bring about a higher tide on Sunday, but the change is not significant, Zhang said.


1. When does the moon become full?

2. What distance was the moon from Earth at 11:35 am?

3. What date did a similar event happen last year?


1. Every 29 and a half days.

2. 357,000 kilometers.

3. March 19.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

'Super moon' wows stargazers

About the broadcaster:

'Super moon' wows stargazers

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.