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Earth rotation question



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 27th 05, 06:49 AM
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Default Earth rotation question

I am writing an "end-of-the-world" type novel which the earth's rotation
will change, causing great upheaval on the earth and making the days
shorter. My question is what could cause such a catastrophe?

Could this be caused by:
1. a super-giant solar flare
2. a close fly-by by a gigantic mass (one gigantic mass or thousands of
smaller objects)
3. major impact on the earth by a comet or asteroid (I know, this one has
been done to death)

Any other suggestions?

All responses will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Mike


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  #2  
Old January 27th 05, 08:32 AM
Saul Levy
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Well, take my word for it: It won't be Planet X and a pole shift!

Saul Levy


On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 05:49:30 GMT, wrote:

I am writing an "end-of-the-world" type novel which the earth's rotation
will change, causing great upheaval on the earth and making the days
shorter. My question is what could cause such a catastrophe?

Could this be caused by:
1. a super-giant solar flare
2. a close fly-by by a gigantic mass (one gigantic mass or thousands of
smaller objects)
3. major impact on the earth by a comet or asteroid (I know, this one has
been done to death)

Any other suggestions?

All responses will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Mike

  #3  
Old February 1st 05, 12:21 PM
Oscar Lanzi III
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Default

The South Asian tsunami did it. IIRC it caused a speeding up of the
rotation by 3 bilionths of a second.

--OL

  #4  
Old February 1st 05, 02:01 PM
Greg Hennessy
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In article ,
Oscar Lanzi III wrote:
The South Asian tsunami did it. IIRC it caused a speeding up of the
rotation by 3 bilionths of a second.


Three billionths of a second is too small to detect. At a department
meeting at work yesterday the guy who reduces the VLBI data for earth
orientation showed his latest plots, and there is currently no strong
evidence that any effect is seen in the data.



  #5  
Old February 1st 05, 04:38 PM
N:dlzc D:aol T:com \(dlzc\)
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Dear Oscar Lanzi III:

"Oscar Lanzi III" wrote in message
...
The South Asian tsunami did it. IIRC it caused a speeding up of the
rotation by 3 bilionths of a second.


That was a computer model prediction. I believe it neglected mass
displaced elswhere on the globe, only concentrating on the subducted crust.

David A. Smith


  #6  
Old February 2nd 05, 08:08 PM
George Dishman
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"N:dlzc D:aol T:com (dlzc)" N: dlzc1 D:cox wrote in
message news:[email protected]
Dear George Dishman:

"George Dishman" wrote in message
...

"Mike Dworetsky" wrote in message
...

"George Dishman" wrote in message
...

Could a close pass by a magnetar have an effect on
rotation? Just curious.

How close is close?

....
By "close" I was thinking perhaps of 100AU where
the gravitational effect would cause only a longer
term perturbation of the orbit. What I'm not clear
on is whether the magnetic field could still give
enough torque to the core to precess it appreciably
in the time the star was passing at that range.

For a novel, if necessary, the field could probably
be stretched a few orders of magnitude, but how much?


Well, keep in mind the Sun has a non-trivial magnetic field, and would
likely put its "arms" around something powerful enough to tweak the
Earth's angular momentum significantly... and around anything in between.


Hi David,

At the surface, it is trivial in comparison to a
magnetar:

http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/ask/a11654.html

However, the dipole field falls as the cube of
the distance and the diameter only a few miles
(which is why the field is so high in the first
place) so perhaps at a reasonable range, the
field is not that great. Oh well, you can't win
'em all.

George


 




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