Eclipse 2018: Will super blue blood moon cause Mount Mayon volcanic eruption? | Science | News

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The super blue blood moon on January 31, which has not been seen for 150 years, is the third of a recent supermoon trilogy.

A supermoon is when a full moon appears between 4 percent and 30 percent brighter than a normal full moon because its orbit is closest to Earth.

When the Moon is closest to Earth, this is when its gravitational pull is at its peak.

Conspiracy theorists and worried people on social media think this lunar spectacular could cause further dangerous eruptions for .

Mayon, the Philippines’ most active volcano, has been spewing lava, ash and hot rocks for two weeks and has forced 80,000 people to evacuate their homes.

Officials have expanded the danger zone to a 5.6 mile radius but many farmers and quarry workers remain, defying evacuation orders so they can continue working in stone quarries and on farms.

Will the super blue blood moon cause more Mount Mayon eruptions?

The chief of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has debunked the idea that the January 31 celestial event will trigger a major eruption on Wednesday.

Renato Solidum, Science Undersecretary and Phivolcs director, told The Philippine Star: “We don’t expect the supermoon will influence Mayon’s activity. It is already erupting.”

While the Moon has a direct correlation with ocean tides, there is no known evidence linking it with volcanic activity.

Rainfalls near the erupting Mount Mayon have caused dangerously-strong mudflows and Phivolcs volcanologists have warned of possible huge debris swept loose cascading down Mayon’s 2,462 metre slopes towards nearby villages.

Mariton Bornas, head of the volcanology agency’s monitoring and eruption prediction, said: “It’s a real threat so we are urging everyone to prepare and evacuate when told by authorities.

“It’s really a dangerous combination for the communities. Lava from Mayon can carry huge boulder and it can bury communities, wash away people and everything in its path, but also because of impact.”

Mayon has erupted around 50 times in the last 500 years and its most recent deadly eruption was in 2013 when an ash flow killed five climbers who had neared the summit.

During the eclipse 2018 on January 31, the moon will be 223,068 miles from Earth, rather than the usual 238,855 miles.

But with tides not affecting , there is no need to worry about the super blue blood moon’s arrival.

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