I can't believe we have to write this article, but I had seen a TON of rumors about this online so it felt like something we should address: the timing of New Jersey's earthquake and the upcoming solar eclipse.

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake occurred around 10:23 a.m. in Hunterdon County, NJ. The quake's epicenter was reported between the towns of Whitehouse Station, Califon and Lebanon, NJ with a depth of 3 miles, the USGS says.

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No major damage was reported despite Friday's seismic activity, but it seemed like immediately rumors swirled online that today's events could be related to Monday's upcoming solar eclipse.

No, Solar Eclipses Do Not Cause Earthquakes

Simply put: Monday's upcoming solar eclipse has no direct correlation to Friday's earthquake. That knowledge is directly from the people who study earthquakes, the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

"This is unrelated to the solar eclipse," Paul Earle, the director of operations at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center said on Friday.

4.8 Earthquake In New Jersey Rattles New York Metro Area
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Some research may suggest that a new moon — which does lead to a solar eclipse — can increase the likelihood of earthquakes by increasing tidal distress, they say.

READ MORE: New Jersey's Governor Warns of Aftershocks

However, today's quake was actually too small for it to have been caused by a new moon.

"Earthquakes of this size there's basically no correlation with celestial bodies," Earle said.

As for the historical nature of Friday's quake, it was the largest reported in New Jersey since the 1700s.

"Earthquakes in the eastern US are infrequent but not unexpected. Since 1950, 40 other earthquakes of magnitude 3 and larger have occurred within 250 kilometers of today’s earthquake," the USGS says. "In that time range, the April 5, 2024, earthquake is the largest."

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Gallery Credit: Dan Zarrow

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