Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: NASA on Shortening Days

NASA on Shortening Days

  • The massive earthquake that struck Japan was so powerful that it accelerated the Earth's rotation speed, shortening the length of the day by 1.8 microseconds, according to a new analysis by NASA.

  • According to scientists at the US space agency, the 8.9-magnitude quake shifted the way the Earth's mass is distributed, which made the planet spin a little faster, cutting the 24-hour day by an estimated 1.8 microseconds. That is less than two-millionths of one second.

  • Initial data suggested the quake moved Japan's main island about eight feet and shifted the Earth's figure axis, around which the Earth's mass is balanced, by about 17 cm, said Richard Gross, a geophysicist at NASA.

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India