Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Earth Rumbles & Why Do We Have To Age Sooner! :-(

There I was, trying to catch up with my daily reading & I run into this queer article in the newspaper. Few minutes after gloating over it I was engulfed with much respect for the Mayans for their premonition skills!

Sources from NASA claim that the recent Chilean Earthquake was powerful enough to knock the Earth off its axis, resulting in shorter day time. The 8.8 magnitude quake struck massive blows to the city of Concepcion on February 27th, killing more than 700 people & most weirdly affection the geography of the planet.

It is argued that since the Earthquake has affected in the distribution of mass of planet earth, it has in return had an impact on the rotation speed. Computer simulations done at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Pasadena, California, by geophysicists have revealed that due to the alteration to the Earth's axis, the day has gotten shorter by 1.27 microseconds. They further claim that the Earth's axis has been shifted 8cm from its orientation. How this rotation speed change occurs can be explained by a phenomena called "Ice Skater Effect". In layman's terms this means that the further the body mass is spread from the rotational axis of an ice skater the slower he can spin. If he wants to spin faster he can easily crouch his limbs, thus altering the distribution of body mass & as a result the rotational speed changes.

However, since the change is quite insignificant, the geophysicists assure that no alteration to clock time has to be made. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that the Sumatran quake (2004) which measured at 9.1 in the Richter scale, altered the orientation of the Earth's axis by 7cm despite the massive size of the quake!

Perhaps a few quakes hither & thither & a million lives later I would get to celebrate my birthday a day quicker than I used to 10 years ago!!!

On account of the number of natural disasters the world has had to withstand during the past couple of months, one could not help but wonder if the Mayans had been right about 2012.

Hope is a good thing, don't you think? It is just too sad that when everything falls into place hope always has the knack of leaving you!

-Source Bloomberg BusinessWeek

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