First Supermoon of 2021 Helps Reopen the Suez Canal

Satellite photo of ship stuck in Suez Canal

A jackknifed big rig can turn your morning commute into a nightmare, but can you imagine being stuck in a traffic jam for six days? That’s exactly what the operators of more than 400 cargo ships have been dealing with this past week.

On average, more than 50 ships pass through the Suez Canal each day. That came to a screeching halt on March 23 when the mammoth container ship Ever Given wedged itself sideways into one of the world’s busiest waterways. For nearly six days, traffic through the canal was at a complete standstill as efforts were made to free the massive 1,312-foot-long vessel.

What does this have to do with the Moon you ask? Good question!

Typically, there’s 12 or 13 full Moons each year, but only six to eight of these full Moons are known as “supermoons,” because they occur when the Moon is closer to the Earth. Sunday’s supermoon – the first in 2021 – led to a high tide that is about 18 inches higher than normal on Monday, which assisted efforts to straighten out and dislodge the ship according to NASA.

CNN meteorologist Judson Jones further explains:

“It is not uncommon for these tides to be a foot higher than other high tides during the year when the Moon is further from the Earth.”

“It is no doubt that these high tides were part of the strategy for dislodging such a massive ship.”

The successful refloating of the gigantic cargo ship allowed traffic to resume in both directions through the Suez Canal, much to the relief of everyone involved with the hundreds of vessels that have been stuck in the massive maritime traffic jam.

While a supermoon likely won’t help clear that big rig from your morning commute, it certainly helped clear the logjam from one of the world’s most important waterways!

Read the full article on CNN.com. 

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