Chilean Earthquake Shortened Earth Days

March 10, 2010 at 1:38 am 3 comments

So far, 2010 is the year of the earthquake. In just over two months, there have been 13 notable quakes.

While the Haiti earthquake on January 12th was certainly the most devastating, it was not the most powerful. That title goes to the February 27th quake in Chile. It had a magnitude of 8.8, the fifth most powerful quake on record. It killed hundreds of people and triggered tsunami warnings in 53 countries.

The big Chilean quake was so powerful, it actually moved the city of Conception 10 feet to the West. It moved Santiago 11 inches and Buenos Aires, which is almost 800 miles from the epicenter, moved an inch. These results were found by an Ohio State research team who has 25 precise GPS sensors and have been monitoring crust movements in Chile since 1993.

Given these facts, there is no question it was a huge earthquake. But, further evidence is in the global impact of our spherical spaceship. The quake rocked the earth, moving us three inches off our axis. This new axis position actually shortens our days by 1.26 milliseconds.

Broken Secrets

Written By: Chad Upton

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Photo: Berk2804 (creative commons)

Sources: 2010 Earthquakes, Moved Cities, Off Axis

Entry filed under: Demystified. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mimi R  |  March 27, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    It would have shortened the day only once, the day the axis shifted.

    Reply
    • 2. Chad Upton  |  March 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks for the comment Mimi. I’m not sure if you looked at the source link, but the NASA scientist thinks it shortened the average length of Earth days over the course of the year.

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20100302/sc_space/chileearthquakemayhaveshorteneddaysonearth

      Reply
  • 3. Freemon  |  April 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Basicaly slowing down the rotation of the earth i supose.

    Reply

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