Moon jumping

Moon jumping

Today at 11.34am, a strange astronomical alignment will cause gravity in Hong Kong to be lower than usual

We all expected awful geological disasters on March 19: the moon was passing closer to Earth than it had in a long time. But Supermoon didn't bring disaster at all. And what's more, according to scientists, it could bring some strange benefits to Hong Kong today.

Nasa's Major Joe Kerr said Hongkongers didn't know how lucky they were. The moon's extra pull of gravity on one side of the Earth meant less pull on the other side. Combine that with the shift in the tectonic plates, and the unusual closeness of Jupiter, and Hong Kong will face an "anti-gravity window".

At exactly 11.34am today, people who jump from the ground will be able to jump higher than they ever have before.

"It has to be on the ground," says Kerr, "because while the moon is pulling, the Earth is actually pushing. If you jumped, say, on the second floor of a building, it would have no effect."

Kerr says people could expect to jump half a metre higher than usual.

That of course raises the question of what happens to high-jump records if athletes decide to take advantage of this situation.

Hong Kong's athletic boss Wye Yu La-phing says the association will not accept any records claimed between 10am and noon today. "It's a very strange thing. Of course, we cannot allow our athletes to take advantage of this odd occurrence."

Yu says the rule will be strictly enforced, and any athlete attempting a high jump during that time will have half a metre subtracted from his result. He adds that athletes jumping down from a higher level - such as aquatic divers - will not be affected.

Australian defence officials will take advantage of the unusual happening to test their new "boomerang" missile. Major May Hemm told Young Post that the missile has been designed to be reusable. Once it has hit its target, it will return for another payload.

"The conditions in Hong Kong today give us the perfect chance to test this new recyclable missile," she says. "Australia will be the first in the world to make such a weapon and this will surely boost our self-defence capabilities. Missiles can cost more than US$1 million each - to use them just once is a waste of resources."

She adds it's unlikely Hongkongers will see the missile as it doesn't release a vapour trail.

Meanwhile, Jupiter will be in an unusual alignment today, which is exciting astrologers.

"Jupiter is like a silent giant," Nasa's Kerr says. "It's always there, but people don't think it affects life on Earth. Most of it is just gas, so few people pay attention to it."

Yet, he adds: "Jupiter's core is composed of extremely dense iron and a substance called plutonium radioactive nitrous potassium, or 'Prank' for short. Prank can wreak havoc on planetary orbits and gravitational fields."

Since the Japanese quake in early March, Earth has shifted slightly. It's "sort of like a young girl in high heels, it's not very steady", Kerr says. "This will also add to the anti-gravitation window."

Local student So Fun-yi says her teacher will her whole class go test the gravitational phenomenon in the playground. "It will be like a science experiment," Fun-yi says. "We will do some jumps before, during and after the time, so we can see how this phenomenon works."

So what are you waiting for? Head to ground level, and give it a go. Let's jump!

Memorial School Broadway's 6A students tried it out! Check their video...

We already have a hint that we might get fooled but we still tried it! Just to see! We didn't get to jump any higher than usual, so it means we were either really fooled by Young Post or our clock was not accurate. But, it didn't really matter what the real reason was. It was really quite an experience going out of the school randomly in the middle of our lesson time. I even took a video of us going 'loco' in front of the school. Hey, we are now in Form 6, our secondary school life is almost over and ALs are fast approaching. We deserve some hilarious activities once in a while. So, were we really fooled? :)
Karen Allisa Napoles

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