March 2, 2010

Chile earthquake shifted the Earth's Axis... yep we're screwed

Yep, that Chile earthquake was one of the most intense in human history. And it shifted the Earth's axis. Wow.

The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth's rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday.

The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

"Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis," NASA officials said in a Monday update.

The computer model used by Gross and his colleagues to determine the effects of the Chile earthquake effect also found that it should have moved Earth's figure axis by about 3 inches (8 cm or 27 milliarcseconds). 

Anytime you can shift the Earth's axis by three inches... you just got to do it right? It looks like we're on pace for a 2012 end of the world scenario. Hooray!

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