Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Days Get Shorter Because of Chilean Earthquake [Science]
Apart from a colossal tsunami, here's another effect of the 66.6 exajoules liberated by this weekend's earthquake in Chile: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that days will now be shorter because the quake shifted Earth's axis by three inches.
The change—which can only be measured thanks to computer models—will result in days that are 1.26 microseconds shorter than before. That's 0.00000126 seconds shorter. There may have been more visible changes, like islands changing its position. One of them, Santa María, may have raised two meters after the shattering land move.
This is not the first time this has happened, as every single earthquake has an effect on the planet's axis.
[Gizmodo via Business Week]