"Supermoon" will appear in the sky on March 19

Moon makes a close approach

The British newspaper Daily Mail reported on March 9 that a "supermoon" March 19 would be the moon's closest approach in 19 years, and some people have suggested that supermoons coincide with extreme natural events.

However, Chinese researchers say that's not true -- and discount Internet rumors that a supermoon could be linked to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

On Tuesday, Liu Jie, a researcher with the China Earthquake Network Center said in an interview with China Daily that a supermoon "could cause high tides but has no direct relation with natural disasters such as earthquakes."

James Garvin, NASA's Chief Scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center, added that any effects from a supermoon on the planet's weather would be minor.

"The combination of the moon being at its closest to Earth in its orbit, and being in its 'full moon' configuration (relative to the Earth and sun), should not affect the internal energy balance of the Earth, since there are lunar tides every day," said Garvin.

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