Tonight the moon will come 15,000 miles closer to the Earth and will be full. This combination of proximity and brightness results in a phenomenon known as the supermoon–by far the brightest and largest full moon we’ll see all year. As we are still primitive beasts loping madly across the plains and will surely be at each others’ throats as soon as the moon is closest to us (11:35 p.m. E.T.), the Associated Press has taken it upon themselves to soothe the cresting tides of madness to come–with science!
But no matter how far away a full moon is, it’s not going to make people kill themselves or others, commit other crimes, get admitted to a psychiatric hospital or do anything else that popular belief suggests, a psychologist says.
Studies that have tried to document such connections have found “pretty much a big mound of nothing, as far as I can tell,” said Scott Lilienfeld of Emory University.
Professor Lilienfeld, who addressed the myth of the maddening moon in 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, told the A.P. that moon-related strangeness is a singularly intractable legend because those who believe it can so easily confirm their bias by attaching any coincidence that occurs under a full moon to the phenomenon.
NASA has also published a helpful video explaining away myths surrounding the moon here.
So with all your moon-related fears dismissed, feel free to head out for a moon dance.
Which, if spotted, will surely confirm the still-uninformed viewer’s idea that the supermoon is making someone super-crazy.