Will the "Supermoon" Affect Your Behavior?

6:42 PM, May 4, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - With Saturday's yearly occurrence of a "Supermoon," we wanted to find out if a full moon has any effect on human behavior.

It must be a full moon--tt's a phrase often uttered by late-night cops, psychiatry staffs and emergency room personal as a result of a busy night. But does a full moon actually have an effect on human behavior?

Saturday night, the moon will rise at a point astronomers call it's perigee, or the point of the moon's orbit that brings it closest to the Earth.

"And when that perigee occurs at the same time as a full moon, we get what is called a supermoon."

Alex Mowery, the director of USC's observatory, says the Supermoon occurs around once a year.

"This one is especially going to be big because not only does it occur at the moon's closest approach to Earth, but it also occurs to the Moon's closest approach to Earth for the entire year."

Mowery says when you look up Saturday the moon will appear slightly brighter and bigger. But will it effect human behavior?

"It just seems that it does get a little bit busier when during the full moon time and now that you've got a Super Moon, I dunno if it's going to be super busy or not," said Newberry Sheriff Lee Foster.

While Foster can't say for certain, he doesn't deny the fact that he's heard the folk lore of the moons effect on criminal activity.

"Oh yeah, especially the night guys. They'll come in and say 'Oh, it's a full moon tonight.'"

Foster has his own theory why people curse the full moon.

"I think Bob Seger's song says "blame it on midnight, shame on the moon." So you have to have something to blame deviant behavior on so the moon is just as good as anything."

While many studies have come up short for a statistical connection between a full moon and human behavior, it's lure will be around for centuries to come.

"So if you have something unique go on, you blame it on the moon," said Foster.

The best time to watch Saturday's super moon will be just a few hours after sunset. Astronomers with USC say the Lake Murray Dam will be a great spot to go moon watching.

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