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Chilean Earthquake Shortened Earth's Day

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the ice-skater-effect dept.

Earth 374

ailnlv writes "Days on Earth just got shorter. The recent earthquake in Chile shifted the planet's axis by about 8 cm and shortened days by 1.26 microseconds 'The changes can be modeled, though they're difficult to detect physically given their small size. ... Some changes may be more obvious, and islands may have shifted. ... Santa Maria Island off the coast near Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, may have been raised 2 meters (6 feet) as a result of the latest quake ...'"

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374 comments

Great! (5, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326374)

I can go home a few microseconds early today.

Re:Great! (1)

SkeeZerD (972760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326382)

Crap...less sleep

Re:Great! (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326456)

I thought that day went quick!

Re:Great! (-1, Offtopic)

singlevalley (1368965) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326404)

COKE ADDS LIFE

Re:Great! (0)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326768)

Worst thing is that we will have to redraw maps to adjust the location of meridian and time zones to be accurate ! ;-)

We should also note that making a pseudo-sphere diameter smaller doesn't shorten the daylight/obscurity period on the said sphere. Even if Earth went to half its current diameter, days should remain the same length unless we change the rotation speed as they suggest in TFA.

Re:Great! (2, Informative)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326824)

While at it, also note that Earth rotation period is ~23h56m, not ~24h because the surface of the Earth facing the Sun moves in the opposite direction of the Earth moving around the Sun.

Re:Great! (5, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326846)

Sir, please don't bring your heliocentric propaganda into this scientific discussion.

Re:Great! (2, Funny)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326976)

I hear talk on 4chan that he's a witch! Ye best not be speaking with-um again less ye too be dragged before the inquisition!

Re:Great! (4, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326922)

"We should also note that making a pseudo-sphere diameter smaller doesn't shorten the daylight/obscurity period on the said sphere. Even if Earth went to half its current diameter, days should remain the same length unless we change the rotation speed as they suggest in TFA."

Shrinking the sphere and keeping the mass the same will increase the rotation speed. This is why the nutron star left behind after a supernova spins so fast. It's also the reason an ice skater spins faster when they draw in their arms. - Please hand in your geek card on your way out. ;)

Re:Great! (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327008)

Hu, that's pretty interesting but what's a nutron star again?

Re:Great! (5, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327058)

"Hu, that's pretty interesting but what's a nutron star again?"

Irresistible bait for spelling Nazi's.

Re:Great! (1)

crispytwo (1144275) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327060)

It's the thing between them thar ears.

Maybe this is why... (0, Offtopic)

sixteenbitsamurai (1070810) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326378)

the PlayStation Network went down?

Re:Maybe this is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326384)

It did not go down. It was a hardware issue.

Re:Maybe this is why... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326736)

It did not go down. It was a hardware issue.

That's what she said

Re:Maybe this is why... (1, Offtopic)

sixteenbitsamurai (1070810) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326588)

Offtopic for a bad joke, huh. Sucks to be me, I guess.

Re:Maybe this is why... (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326828)

You should be ashamed of yourself. Even /. has standards for humor.

Re:Maybe this is why... (0, Troll)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326924)

Offtopic??? Bad joke??? I'd punch You in the face, for reals. Note that I'm not AC, and thats because I mean it, I'd kick your ass then, just then, It will suck to be You.

The flame button should be around here -vvvvvv-

Did this affect climate (1, Interesting)

MSBob (307239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326380)

Given the axial shift will that have a measurable impact on the climate in a measurable way?

Re:Did this affect climate (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326392)

either way, it's anthropogenic.

Re:Did this affect climate (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326476)

I knew it! I blame the political party I'm not affiliated with.

Re:Did this affect climate (2, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326732)

I knew it! I blame the political party I'm not affiliated with.

You clueless dolt - it's patently obvious the fault of the political party you ARE affiliated with!

Re:Did this affect climate (5, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326840)

It's the fault of both the parties, you sheeple!

Re:Did this affect climate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326902)

It's the fault of the people for allowing it to happen. We are all responsible.

Re:Did this affect climate (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327040)

damn.... that's a bummer.... anyone remember where I parked the H3?

Re:Did this affect climate (4, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326812)

You say this to make fun of the global warming debate, but theoretically it's not completely impossible that underground nuclear testing has something to do with the specifics of any earthquakes since the 1950s or so. Earthquakes are undoubtedly chaotic, and a series of megaton explosions underground might have shaken things a little and helped them get where they're going faster (temporarily).

Mind you, I'm not claiming that's necessarily the case either (or even probably the case). Just that, much like a decent conspiracy theory, it's not entirely nonsense or outside the realm of possibility. (I'd guess that overall seismicity remains the same overall but chaotic effects will change the locations of, say, half the aftershocks next century.)

USGS FAQ here [usgs.gov] .

Re:Did this affect climate (-1, Troll)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326396)

OMFG, did you have to?

Ok, pass the popcorn, let's watch the climate zealots (of either side) have a field day with this...

Re:Did this affect climate (-1, Flamebait)

MacDork (560499) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326618)

Ok, pass the popcorn, let's watch the climate zealots (of either side) have a field day with this...

Do you think climate is OT? Plate tectonics are far more important for creating ice ages than atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Q. What do all ice ages have in common? A large polar land mass and a continent that stretches almost entirely from the north to south poles. In our current ice age, that is antarctica and the americas. It is no coincidence that the present ice age started around 3 million years ago; Right around the same time the isthmus of Panama rose up out of the ocean.

Around 500 million years ago, there was an ice age in the late Ordovician period where atmospheric CO2 levels were around 4200ppm. Again, the two conditions mentioned above were met. Climate 'scientists' with an agenda [agu.org] typically omit this datapoint from their presentations purposely, because it doesn't fit with their theory that CO2 is the most important factor when dealing with Earth's climate.

In short: Want to cause global warming? Open the flood gates to the Panama canal and let nature do the rest. Otherwise, we have to wait for nature to bust open that isthmus for us. Either way, expect the climate cultists to give you a smug "I told you so!" if it ever happens in our lifetime. They won't ever admit it wasn't the CO2, but then, when did facts ever bother them anyway.

Re:Did this affect climate (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326680)

The panama canal is almost entirely above sea level...

Re:Did this affect climate (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326760)

Q. What do all ice ages have in common?

A. They never happened! That's what they have in common, they have all been concocted by scientists with an agenda to undermine scripture.

And for all those who think that this earthquake wasn't caused by Man ... well it was! Fornication, homosexuality, feminism, democracy, drug-taking, violent video games, on-line porn, science, charity, freedom of speech, blashpemy, etc. etc. all these evils will not go unpunished!

Re:Did this affect climate (4, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326412)

Man, I checked out that pizza [aclu.org] link in your sig, and that is so cool! I wish the pizza place would be that good around here. I live in NYC and I can't even get them to leave their car to deliver pizza to my door, let alone all those other handy features they show there.

Re:Did this affect climate (3, Interesting)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326778)

I actually liked the ACLU until I followed that link. Thanks a lot. Now I'm starting to wonder if they're any less crazy than the Ron Paul fanatics.

Re:Did this affect climate (2, Insightful)

sleeping143 (1523137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326896)

Just because a phenomenon is measurable doesn't mean it's significant.

What's with the red headline bar? (0, Offtopic)

fishexe (168879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326386)

I've never seen that before.

Re:What's with the red headline bar? (5, Funny)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326452)

It means that no one had posted anything to the comments of the story yet. And if you are a /. regular it's really a secret troll code telling you to rush in to comment about frosty piss and checking the post anonymously button while praying to the FSM that you beat all the other cowards to it. ;)

Re:What's with the red headline bar? (1, Flamebait)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326486)

It means it's an unposted story; if you've paid good money for the folks who run this joint, it's one of the 'plums' they give you--to see them before those cheapasses who prefer ads and such.

Re:What's with the red headline bar? (1)

teh moges (875080) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326572)

What ads?

Re:What's with the red headline bar? (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326892)

You may not know this, but fishaxe does: when you reach high karma, you no longer get ads (or rather you get the "option" to turn them off). Basically, if you contribute to the site, they don't monetize you directly.
And spare me the reply saying that "yeah, instead you're the one providing content to the site, which they use to make money off of". There's always someone who says that, and there's always the same answer: If you don't want to be here, don't be here.

Now I'm late! (4, Funny)

Subm (79417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326390)

Crap, I was going to post something funny, but now I'm 1.26 microseconds late. Sorry, I gotta run...

Awesome! (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326398)

Now we just have to harness this, and we won't have to worry about low-lying coastal areas being swept away by flooding and rising oceans!

How often do such quakes occur? (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326418)

I mean, don't forget that a day only has 86,400 seconds (give or take...). One such quake doesn't really matter. A hundred won't. A million will start to matter. A billion definitly will.

And of course, they don't happen every day but, well, a billion years ain't that long if you're a planet...

Re:How often do such quakes occur? (1)

Adaeniel (1315637) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326494)

Assuming 18 quakes a year that can shorten the Earth's day by 1 microsecond gives you a shortening of 5 hours over the span of a billion years.
Just thought that would be fun to examine.

Re:How often do such quakes occur? (2, Informative)

danlip (737336) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326624)

Some quakes elevate land which would slow the spin of the earth, but some might lower it, and erosion is constantly lowering the land. After 5 billion years we are probably pretty much in a steady state as far as that goes (earthquakes push it up, and erosion tears it down). Of course other things like tidal forces between the earth and sun are having long term affects which will accumulate overtime (I believe slowing the earth's spin and moving it further from the sun).

Re:How often do such quakes occur? (2, Interesting)

ashridah (72567) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326644)

That's assuming every single one shortens the day. Do we know if they'll actually do that, or if there's more likely to be some kind of gaussian spread across positive and negative shifts?

Re:How often do such quakes occur? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326592)

The reason the day length changes is because the quake caused a net motion of mass toward the center of the planet. This reduces the moment of inertia, and because of conservation of momentum, the planet's rotation must speed up.

If this happened repeatedly, it would mean that the density of the planet was increasing. That can't happen to any significant degree, because it would involve compression, which requires a source of energy (note -- I don't mean that the increased rotation is due to an energy input, just that it takes energy to compress a planet). Earthquakes just move energy around, they do not create it. So over long spans of time, earthquakes tend to increase the length of the day by about as much as they decrease it. It all depends on whether the net motion was toward the center of the earth or away from it.

This is based on my knowledge of physics, but I am not a geologist, so there may be complicating factors I don't know about. However, I'm pretty sure that the planet's density cannot increase arbitrarily.

Re:How often do such quakes occur? (3, Informative)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326748)

A quick back of the hand calculation tells me that tidal friction is only two orders of magnitude less effect than this. So about 100 days of tidal friction is equal to this event.

Re:How often do such quakes occur? (3, Interesting)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326856)

So what happens if instead of 100 8.3 eartquakes we have 10 @ 10.1?

From wikipedia:

>> Because of the logarithmic basis of the scale, each whole number increase in magnitude represents a tenfold increase in measured amplitude; in terms of energy, each whole number increase corresponds to an increase of about 31.6 times the amount of energy released.<<

This quake was 8.8 ram == 15.8 gigatons of TNT delivered
The one (the comet impact) that owned the dinosaurs was 13.0 ram or 100 teratons of TNT

And we really need one, very powerful in the right place at the right time to cause a polar swift. You know, after that you would start to see random Angels coming to Neo New York and Evas and stuff... no in all seriousness a polar swift will fuck us all big time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richter_magnitude_scale

Re:How often do such quakes occur? (2, Informative)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326972)

a billion years ain't that long if you're a planet...

Yes, it is [ucolick.org] . Our sun's lifespan is about 10 billion years, and it's half-way through. In other word, the solar system should be having its mid-life crisis now.

FFS! (4, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326462)

Oh, for fuck's sake! I've got too much shit to do already! And now, I have 1.26 microseconds less to do it in??!! Scheisse! Of course, maybe I shouldn't post on slashdot. Maybe that would save more than 1.26 microseconds.

Re:FFS! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326500)

Seriously! Think of all the things you could do with all that time:

- Make love to your wife
- List all of Pat Robertson's positive traits
- Use WinMo before freaking out and throwing your phone out the window

C'mon people, this is valuable time here!

Re:FFS! (4, Funny)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326532)

Oh, for fuck's sake! I've got too much shit to do already! And now, I have 1.26 microseconds less to do it in??!! Scheisse! Of course, maybe I shouldn't post on slashdot. Maybe that would save more than 1.26 microseconds.

You could make love to your girlfriend a couple fewer times per week.

Re:FFS! (2, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326868)

Just an *obvious* reminder, but Slashdot posters don't have girlfriends.

GPS affected? (4, Interesting)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326490)

Does this affect GPS for a short time? I understand that the USAF (or whoever runs it) will correct the system, but how quickly does this occur? Would it affect a JDAM bomb in flight, for example?

Re:GPS affected? (5, Insightful)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326558)

If it was traveling at 400 miles per hour, 1.26 microseconds is 0.007 inches. I am assuming that is within detonation radius.

Re:GPS affected? (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326636)

One would hope.

Re:GPS affected? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326654)

It's not about the speed of the bomb. It's about the speed of the sattelites which orbit Earth and which the bomb uses to guide itself.

A sattelite travelling in Geostationary orbit clocks 3.8km/s. In 1.26 microseconds it would travel about 5mm. If it, say, takes a month until the government calculates and issues the correcting commands, the offset would accumulate to 15cm.

If a guided missile is launched to fly into a window of an enemy-occupied building, the offset can be enough to make a difference between hitting the window and hitting the wall.

Re:GPS affected? (4, Informative)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327112)

If a guided missile is launched to fly into a window of an enemy-occupied building, the offset can be enough to make a difference between hitting the window and hitting the wall.

GPS doesn't have the kind of precision to guide a shot like that regardless of whether the time is uncalibrated. If we need to launch a missile into a building and it is imperative that it enter the building through a small window, we would surely use laser or thermal guidance... not GPS.

Re:GPS affected? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326658)

A James Bond inch? How awesome!

by 8cm? (0, Redundant)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326594)

Would it affect a JDAM bomb in flight, for example?

This is just a guess, but- yes? By 8cm?

Re:by 8cm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326608)

This is just a guess, but- yes? By 8cm?

If that were true, then the earthquake would have been felt on the ground, while the bomb was falling.

Re:GPS affected? (0)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326704)

I doubt it. Buried at the bottom of TFA is this lovely quote:

"This small contribution is buried in larger changes due to other causes, such as atmospheric mass moving around on Earth," Chao said.

So this has less effect than wind. That's right, fucking WIND does more to the earths rotation EVERY SINGLE DAY. Still, nice hype job by the scientists, without sensationalism they wouldn't get the funding for the mundane crap.

Re:GPS affected? (2, Insightful)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326864)

More people die in car accidents every single day than died in this earthquake. What is with all this sensationalism about such an insignificant event. </sarcasm>

Re:GPS affected? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326718)

Yes, if we cluster bomb Santa Maria Island, the bombs will strike 2 meters early. And, the Santa Marians will have to dig their bunkers 2 meters deeper. In fact, I just saw a video of Hitler upset about this on youtube, he was pretty vexxed about it.

Not a problem, easy workaround. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326722)

The bomb controller only has to hit the button 1.25 microseconds sooner. Easy! Like I said, not a problem.

Re:GPS affected? (1)

aonic (878715) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326774)

The satellites' orbits (which you calculate your position from) are calculated from the ranges to a network of ground stations with really expensive receivers mounted to bedrock. I heard through the grapevine that a couple sites in Chile slipped a few meters and that made the orbit products that geodesists use really crappy unless they took those sites out (because they assumed the old positions). The real-time orbits (less precise) that are broadcast from the satellites are produced by the Department of Defense, and their sites are usually on US military bases. Their orbits (and therefore any of the military equipment that depends on the real-time orbits) probably weren't affected by the quake.

Whoa! (1)

shivamib (1034310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326806)

Dude, maybe we should really turn that LHC off.

I mean, seriously. At least tone it down a little. You're making the <b>Earth</b> move.

It sped up earth's rotation? (1)

oaksey (585738) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326528)

So they talk about the "Ice-Skater Effect", even though they say that goes on "forever" wouldn't it wear off as buildings are rebuilt and new trees grow? What else is shifted closer to the center of the earth of any significant mass that they are aware of to come up with such a specific number?

Re:It sped up earth's rotation? (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326810)

I think it has more to do with the movement of the crust- the plate under the Pacific there is going down into the earth. I am assuming any upward motion of the South American plate doesn't compensate enough to cancel, creating this Ice Skater Effect.

Re:It sped up earth's rotation? (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326830)

I think my sarcasm detector may be a little slow today...

Nit-Picking Science (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326530)

I am a lover of science, but I'm still amazed that this kind of nit-picking is treated as though it's newsworthy. So the day (I assume that by 'day', they mean the rotation of the Earth on its axis) just got microseconds shorter. Will it affect global climate? Will it affect ecosystems? In short - will it affect anything in any way that would result in any of us actually giving a crap about it?

Will it affect global climate? (4, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326702)

Will it affect global climate?

Yes - the days are shorter, therefore less sunlight per day, ergo - global cooling!

Re:Nit-Picking Science (1)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326744)

Don't know, maybe it's a good time to try to measure how much energy could this earthquake had generated so we can learn stuff. Interesting thing is, that in less than 10 years 3 earthquakes had been so strong to alter the rotational speed of the earth:

2004 Indonesia,
2005 Northern Sumatra, Indonesia - And
2010 Chile

I don't know, a pattern? powerful earthquakes more often? How Chile's infrastructure passed the acid test? Why this tsunami did not ended on Hawaii like the one in 1960? If I can see all this not having a science background I don't understand why are You complaining.

This, theres numbers here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth's_rotation

I know we love sensationalist headlines, but (3, Insightful)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326570)

Remember, this is only what a model predicts, unlike what the headline suggests. And anyway, I think even if the quake had effects on day length and/or axis, another quake somewhere else on Earth sets it back a little. It averages out to what we witness. Earth is a dynamic place.

Re:I know we love sensationalist headlines, but (5, Funny)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326600)

Remember, this is only what a model predicts, unlike what the headline suggests.

Lemme guess: they used the Quake II engine?

Re:I know we love sensationalist headlines, but (1)

mr exploiter (1452969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326706)

So you have a better model that involves every quake having a dual quake that exactly cancel the effect of the other one? What evidence do you have to support this?

Even we can affect the length of a day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326620)

I read years ago that all the river damming projects changed the length of the day. A tiny amount but still we had an impact.

Earthquakes often cause sudden changes. A friend could see the top of the tower at Six Flags Amusement Park from her apartment before the Northridge quake but the mountain raised enough during the quake that she couldn't see the tower. It's not uncommon for Mountains to raise several feet in a major quake. Mountain height changes balance which would affect days.

Re:Even we can affect the length of a day (1)

mr exploiter (1452969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326726)

Actually going up the stairs one floor should affect the length of the day too, but does it matter?

That explains it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326634)

I couldn't enter the right code from my WOW authenticator because now the Space-Time continuum is all messed up! How will Arthas be defeated now??

I'm no Mathematologist (3, Funny)

dmomo (256005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326650)

But according to my calculations, all we have to do is set our calendars back a day... ... in 188,253,750 (ish) years.

I wonder how the PS3 will handle this.

I say everyone (3, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326678)

People of Earth, at 18:00 GMT March 10 we all jump at the same time and regain our microsecond!

Re:I say everyone (2, Funny)

jdc18 (1654245) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326956)

No no no, you just need the chinese to do it

Re:I say everyone (5, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327020)

I wonder... Compare the total weight of the entire chinese population to the total weight of the entire population of the US. Who's heavier?

global warming (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326690)

i'm waiting for someone to link this quake to gloabl warming, or atleast some news reporter to ask the question.

Re:global warming (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326984)

I'm sure the heartland institute will come up with something for you.

How many seconds a year? (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326712)

Im horrible at math so how many seconds shorter are our days each year now.

Re:How many seconds a year? (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326886)

Roughly 400 microseconds. A little under half a millisecond?

Re:How many seconds a year? (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326898)

Oops, math fail. 400 Microseconds in a shorter year. Probably lower than that.

Re:How many seconds a year? (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326894)

Nearly half a millisecond!

(1.26 * 365.25 / 1000 = 0.460215ms)

Not First Post (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326784)

Missed it by 1.26 microseconds. Damn.

LISTEEEEEEEN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326816)

"stuff that matters".....

Bad Analogy (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326826)

“It’s what we call the ice-skater effect,” David Kerridge, head of Earth hazards and systems at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, said today in a telephone interview. “As the ice skater puts when she’s going around in a circle, and she pulls her arms in, she gets faster and faster. It’s the same idea with the Earth going around if you change the distribution of mass, the rotation rate changes.”

No, it's not. It's called the "bored to death at the office and nobody's watching" effect. You spin your chair rapidly and lift your legs from the ground. Then put your arms out -- you'll slow down. Pull them back in -- you'll speed up.
Also, "As the ice skater puts when she’s going around in a circle"? Did somebody miss a word there?

Shoddy writing, bad analogies, this is an embarrassment.

Spin Throw Chair (1)

shivamib (1034310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326910)

You spin your chair rapidly and lift your legs from the ground. Then put your arms out -- you'll slow down. Pull them back in -- you'll speed up.

And if you throw it afterwards, you become Steve Ballmer.

ns (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326890)

The nanosecond the earth stood still.

May have been raised (1)

Rubber Biscuit (324470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326958)

Not hard to believe that the quality of journalism is declining when you read a comment like "Santa Maria Island ... may have been raised 2 meters (6 feet) as a result of the latest quake." Hmmm, too bad we can't measure something on a scale accurate enough to know if this is close to being true. I'm guessing that if the Island was raised, they meant "in relation to sea level." Of course, with all those waves, it really makes it tough to measure ... how on earth did that comment get by the editors.

psssh, this is nothing (1)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326962)

i time my activities in femtoseconds. ...yes, i realize i just burned myself, but i can't resist using the word "femtoseconds".

Geat, anothe Java update! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31327010)

Fuck! Just when I thought I had the whole java.util.Date class down.

What does it all mean? Calculate....calculate...

Goddamnit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another update for my users lest their date become corrupted 1.2 million years from now!

I'm sick of it!!!!!

Not worth mentioning (1)

butlerm (3112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327036)

The earth is naturally slowing down at a rate that makes this sort of thing hardly worth mentioning. That is why we have leap seconds.

Several milliseconds (per year) total when every year we drift ~500 ms? A few thousand such earthquakes and we might be able to put off a leap second for another year.

Re:Not worth mentioning (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327094)

The earth is naturally slowing down at a rate that makes this sort of thing hardly worth mentioning.

Actually, the slowdown is only about 2ms/century, or about 0.054 microseconds/day. So a 1-microsecond jump in a day should be noticeable. This information is tracked. Here's the raw data from the Earth Rotation Service. [iers.org]

With GPS systems working down to 15cm, changes like this get noticed.

Haven't we heard this before? (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327050)

With the BIG Indian Ocean quake a few years ago? Why do is it suddenly big news when a smaller quake does the same thing a few years later? Isn't it fair to assume that quakes of any significantly large magnitude do this? And don't we have quakes of that magnitude every few years?

So for us Linux users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31327066)

How long before this gets reflected in tzdata?

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