Thanks to the earthquake in Chile, “Earth days” have become shorter. OK, not much shorter…just 1.26 microseconds. But, shorter nonetheless. Why? NASA scientists say the quake actually shifted the Earth’s axis! Will this bring us the end of the workday sooner? Probably not 😦
Here’s the basic explanation: massive amounts of rock were moved and altered the distribution of mass on our planet. That changed the Earth’s rotation rate. That rate determines the length of a day.
In comparison, the 9.1 earthquake that generated a tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 shortened our days by 6.8 microseconds!
If we keep having these natural disasters, it may be time to reconsider implementing Daylight Savings Time – which goes into effect this weekend. Time to, once again, reschedule your calls to the East Coast!