Chile Earthquake Moved Earth Off Axis?

The quake that rocked the South American nation may have also knocked the Earth off its axis.
The Chile Earthquake Earth Axis 2010 caused a Bizarre Chance in the world. NASA scientists have revealed a fact that is shocking the world. Saturday’s earthquake in Chile, which also prompted a small tsunami in Hawaii, moved the earth off its axis.
By speeding up Earth's rotation, the magnitude 8.8 earthquake—the fifth strongest ever recorded, according to the USGS—should have shortened an Earth day by 1.26 millionths of a second, according to new computer-model calculations by geophysicist Richard Gross of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
How come an earthquake can produce a change like this? Did Chile just doomed the world forever?

asked by Joshua in Science | 5807 views | 03-02-2010 at 09:51 PM

Among the many interesting and horrifying facts about the 8.8 magnitude quake that struck Chile is this; scientists say that because of the Chile earthquake, Earth’s axis shifted and the day shortened. Not by much on either count, but just the fact that an earthquake was so powerful to do either is astonishing. Nature truly has power that we cannot fathom.

Many scientists agree including a NASA scientist that the Chile earthquake that measured a massive 8.8 likely shifted the Earth on its axis and shortened the day by about 1.26 microseconds. The Earth’s axis likely moved about 3 inches. No one would be able to detect these movements on their own, but they likely happened nonetheless.

The Earth's rotation was likely affected by the shift in the planet's mass, which could cause it to spin faster.

Scientists believe other quakes, such as the 2004 9.1-magnitude earthquake in Sumatra, have also decreased the Earth's day. That quake is believed to have shortened it by 6.8 microseconds, and altered the axis by nearly 7 inches.

"The story is quite similar to the December 26, 2004, magnitude 9.0 Sumatra earthquake, which was followed by a magnitude 8.7 quake on [the Sumatra fault's] southern end on the 28th of March 2005," geologist Jian Lin of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts said in a statement.

"The only difference is that it took 50 years for the northern neighboring section of the 1960 [Chile] earthquake to rupture, while it took only three months for the southern adjacent segment to rupture in Sumatra."
A microsecond is one-millionth of a second, so no need to adjust watches just yet.
The quake in Chile has killed over 700 people and has wreaked havoc on the Latin American country. There are numerous reports of looting and general chaos and violence, as the effects of the quake have displaced over a million people.
Here's a video explaining it all.

answered by Sarah | 03-02-2010 at 10:00 PM

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