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Chile Earthquake May Have Shortened Days on Earth


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Chile Earthquake May Have Shortened Days on Earth

space.com – 2 hrs 1 min ago

The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth's rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday.

The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

"Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis," NASA officials said in a Monday update.

The computer model used by Gross and his colleagues to determine the effects of the Chile earthquake effect also found that it should have moved Earth's figure axis by about 3 inches (8 cm or 27 milliarcseconds).

The Earth's figure axis is not the same as its north-south axis, which it spins around once every day at a speed of about 1,000 mph (1,604 kph).

The figure axis is the axis around which the Earth's mass is balanced. It is offset from the Earth's north-south axis by about 33 feet (10 meters).

Strong earthquakes have altered Earth's days and its axis in the past. The 9.1 Sumatran earthquake in 2004, which set off a deadly tsunami, should have shortened Earth's days by 6.8 microseconds and shifted its axis by about 2.76 inches (7 cm, or 2.32 milliarcseconds).

One Earth day is about 24 hours long. Over the course of a year, the length of a day normally changes gradually by one millisecond. It increases in the winter, when the Earth rotates more slowly, and decreases in the summer, Gross has said in the past.

The Chile earthquake was much smaller than the Sumatran temblor, but its effects on the Earth are larger because of its location. Its epicenter was located in the Earth's mid-latitudes rather than near the equator like the Sumatran event.

The fault responsible for the 2010 Chile quake also slices through Earth at a steeper angle than the Sumatran quake's fault, NASA scientists said.

"This makes the Chile fault more effective in moving Earth's mass vertically and hence more effective in shifting Earth's figure axis," NASA officials said.

Gross said his findings are based on early data available on the Chile earthquake. As more information about its characteristics are revealed, his prediction of its effects will likely change.

The Chile earthquake has killed more than 700 people and caused widespread devastation in the South American country.

Several major telescopes in Chile's Atacama Desert have escaped damage, according to the European Southern Observatory managing them.

A salt-measuring NASA satellite instrument destined to be installed on an Argentinean satellite was also undamaged in the earthquake, JPL officials said.

The Aquarius instrument was in the city of Bariloche, Argentina, where it is being installed in the Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas (SAC-D) satellite. The satellite integration facility is about 365 miles (588 km) from the Chile quake's epicenter.

The Aquarius instrument is designed to provide monthly global maps of the ocean's salt concentration in order to track current circulation and its role in climate change.

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1.26 miliseconds..... meh who cares its not like im gonna live till the end of the earth anyway

It actually means the actual day, like a tuesday, will now be shorter, not that it shortened the lifespan of the earth by 1.26 milliseconds.

enjoy the what's left of your Tuesday....if there's anything.

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It actually means the actual day, like a tuesday, will now be shorter, not that it shortened the lifespan of the earth by 1.26 milliseconds.

enjoy the what's left of your Tuesday....if there's anything.

Oh so i missed out on blinking one extra time on Tuesday, :( dammit now i want my 1.26 milliseconds back :angry::angry::angry:

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Thanks, Jesus. Everyone has been waiting on your return but glad you could let them all know ahead of time that it won't happen in their lifetime! You're a GODSEND!

If you believe the world will end in OUR time, than go right ahead and be afraid for the rest of your pathetic life.

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If you believe the world will end in OUR time, than go right ahead and be afraid for the rest of your pathetic life.

You realize we're making fun of you, right?

I mean, normally I'd just keep saying stupid stuff to provoke a reaction from you, but I almost feel bad for you if you're really that dense.

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You realize we're making fun of you, right?

I mean, normally I'd just keep saying stupid stuff to provoke a reaction from you, but I almost feel bad for you if you're really that dense.

Do you honestly think I care? :mellow:

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I am curious to see if anybody is looking into any potential effect a 3 inch tilt in our axis will have on the weather.

NASA is just throwing out BS, the world did not tilt over an 8.8 earth quake because if that's the cause, why didn't the world "tilt" when that big earth quake hit Haiti?

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NASA is just throwing out BS, the world did not tilt over an 8.8 earth quake because if that's the cause, why didn't the world "tilt" when that big earth quake hit Haiti?

maybe because the earth isn't solid or uniform. therefore the same incident occurring at different spots in the world could easily have differing effects

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