The day just got shorter

Literally. The day just got shorter because of the earthquake in Chile. Luckily it wasn’t by an appreciable amount, because I can’t spare it. But this is fascinating nonetheless:

The massive earthquake that struck Chile on Saturday may have shifted the Earth’s axis and created shorter days, scientists at NASA say.

The change is negligible, but permanent: Each day should be 1.26 microseconds shorter, according to preliminary calculations. A microsecond is one-millionth of a second.

A large quake shifts massive amounts of rock and alters the distribution of mass on the planet.

When that distribution changes, it changes the rate at which the planet rotates. And the rotation rate determines the length of a day.

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply