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Eclipses and Earthquakes


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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 6:38:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2012 6:38:26 PM PDT
Lj3d says:
I can only speculate here but I suspect quake forecasts would play out in a manner similar to hurricane forecasts. The government provides info to the media, they present it to the public and sometimes hype it to the point the public starts to ignore the forecasts. Hurricanes are easy because they can be seen coming via satellite and meteorologists understand the weather patterns and currents that steer canes. Quakes are not so easy to forecast. Especially the kind that do not have much in the way of smaller quakes leading up to a big one. However, the more we understand about what leads up to an earthquake, the better we can become at forecasting them, unless their underlying mechanisms are simply to complex to forecast.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 6:49:15 PM PDT
Deckard says:
werranth413 said:
"The conspiracy guys say that the government doesn't want to begin the policies of predicting quakes. What do you think?"

The conspiracy guys are complete loons.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 9:01:58 PM PDT
Re Lj3d, 6-2 12:13 PM: "The moon and sun on one side of the earth in a solar eclipse would pull more on one side of the earth than the other." Correct, of course -- but the effects in question are tidal effects (related to the gradient of the g-field, not the g-field itself), which are maximal (spring tides) at both new moon and full moon.

"I know of no scientific data that supports any theories on eclipses causing increased earthquakes." Neither do I.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 9:07:59 PM PDT
Re werranth413, 6-2 1:20 PM: "we'll need to learn how much energy is required." There is no way to tell this, but we CAN figure the energy which is available from tidal effect, simply by measuring the height of the tides. Which, on average, are a few feet of water -- i.e., a pressure change of maybe 200 millibars, tops (except, of course, for anomalies such the Bay of Fundy). Which corresponds to a layer of rock perhaps a foot thick -- which, in the overall scheme of earthquake things, is a flea on an elephant.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 12:35:26 AM PDT
Yog-Sothoth says:
werranth413: "During this last eclipse, the Moon was close enough for the Sun to shine all around it."

The moon was at apogee (furthest distance from earth - 252,600 mi.) on May 19. The annular eclipse was the next day, May 20. The eclipse was annular because being farther from us, the moon appeared slightly SMALLER than the apparent disk of the sun, therefore it didn't cover it completely.

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 3:26:34 AM PDT
Some responses for y'all:

It only crossed my mind to seek the opinions of experts after I made the press release. And I only thought of making the press release a year after I did the math.

I'm not a geologist. But it seems reasonable that when the Sun/Moon/Earth are at their most aligned, the stresses are at their greatest. It doesn't matter if that increase is minor - it could just be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Obviously it's not the look of an eclipse that causes it. It's the alignment, something that causes us to see an eclipse.

I can, and should, list the 88 eclipses, and all the 6.5+ quakes, in side by side tables. Something to add to my to-do list. Yes, I should've done this already. But I'd prefer it if someone was inspired enough to do it all independently.

So far I've emailed the top 20 geologists I can find who might have some interest in this. Some have touched on it in peer-reviewed papers, for example the Earth causing moonquakes, and quakes in China matching tides, and volcanoes in Hawaii being triggered by tides.

I've only ever mentioned what I found because I find it extraordinary that nobody else has noticed.

Although I promote the idea of a 2012 doomsday, I reject most aspects of it. Ultimately I am a skeptic that looks to discredit what it plainly wrong, like Nibiru in 2012.

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 4:28:35 AM PDT
Yog-Sothoth says:
Was an increase in earthquakes noted for the days on either side of May 20, a couple weeks ago? Any significant increase over, say - any other period of 3 days?

As mentioned earlier, the moon's gravity would effect us about the same every New Moon, regardless of whether or not there is an eclipse. The moon is still aligned between the earth and the sun. Sometimes the moon is at its minimum distance (perigee) during the New Moon, so the effect of its gravity should be even MORE (with or without an eclipse), and there doesn't seem to be any correllation to an increase in earthquake activity - just higher tides.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 8:57:47 AM PDT
Lj3d says:
RDS: It only crossed my mind to seek the opinions of experts after I made the press release. And I only thought of making the press release a year after I did the math.

Lj3d: I take it from this that your not a professional astronomer or scientist by way of training and occupation. In any case, I'm glad you came forward with this posting and cleared some things up.

RDS:I'm not a geologist. But it seems reasonable that when the Sun/Moon/Earth are at their most aligned, the stresses are at their greatest. It doesn't matter if that increase is minor - it could just be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Lj3d: You reasoning is sound, but the sun and moon would exert more pull during a solar eclipse than it would a lunar eclipse. I'm no expert in geology, but I think it does matter if an increase is minor because in many cases, fault lines can be highly stressed and release the stress through smaller quakes over a period of weeks or months. I think a geologist is probably going to tell you they cannot know with absolute certainty if slight increases in gravitational pulling on the earth from the moon and sun are definitive causes of certain quakes. Other significant factors involved in the causes.

RDS:Obviously it's not the look of an eclipse that causes it. It's the alignment, something that causes us to see an eclipse.

Lj3d: Correct in that its not the shadow or look of an eclipse. As to what cause the eclipse, its the moons orbital inclination which was previously explained in greater detail.

RDS: I can, and should, list the 88 eclipses, and all the 6.5+ quakes, in side by side tables. Something to add to my to-do list. Yes, I should've done this already. But I'd prefer it if someone was inspired enough to do it all independently.

Lj3d: I'm not a professional astronomer, just someone with a lot of interest in the subject because I once wrote a realistic sci fi book on human spaceflight. Bottom line, if you don't have a degree or professional credentials, nobody in the scientific community is going to take you seriously. I learned that lesson as a contractor employee for NASA/KSC over two decades ago. That was what caused me to move on to my books. I was 28 at the time and had problems with advanced math that precluded getting my degree. I Didn't want to spend three decades while I solved my math problems, and was tired of waiting to find a way to get known for my knowledge of human space flight. I resumed my books in the late 1990s after a lengthy and unsuccessful stint doing freelance CGI work while working at KSC. I have lots of written and illustrated works, including a ten book series done in graphic novel form. No way to get them seen without putting them on the internet for free. I don't have the money to effectively advertise my stuff which is a niche market product anyway so now, at 56...I just don't have the inclination to spend a decade or more just trying to get known, and I have serious health issues as well. I have had to just accept that not one of my works will ever be read. I wrote sci fi and thought one day I might at least develop a small fan base and maybe support myself without having to work in the regular and idea limiting workworld. But now, I simply get to see people talk of Heinlein and Asimov and other sci fi greats. See ideas I have become published news from someone else. Inspiration finally has just simply left me.

RDS: So far I've emailed the top 20 geologists I can find who might have some interest in this. Some have touched on it in peer-reviewed papers, for example the Earth causing moonquakes, and quakes in China matching tides, and volcanoes in Hawaii being triggered by tides.

Lj3d: Unless you know and trust someone to help you, here you could be risking compromising your efforts should someone decide to take credit for your work. The vast majority of geologists or scientists would not do this. But you never know who the bad ones are without personally knowing them. And if your not degreed, its entirely possible that someone who is degreed could rip you off. I wish I knew how to tell you to get around it, I hope someone else here can.

RDS: I've only ever mentioned what I found because I find it extraordinary that nobody else has noticed.

Lj3d: I suspect someone has noticed. Ideas tend to be universal in that if you think you have one, you can bet somebody else will get it independently of you within a years or so. That's why I mentioned watching someone else get credit for ideas I have thought of. Its bad enough if someone rips you off, but worse when someone gets an idea you think was yours, and then gets the press while you get to tell someone you had that idea and get laughed at.

RDS: Although I promote the idea of a 2012 doomsday, I reject most aspects of it. Ultimately I am a skeptic that looks to discredit what it plainly wrong, like Nibiru in 2012.

Lj3d: When writing a book, a little hype can be a good thing. But if this is something for the purely scientific world, linking to 2012 is a sure way to tell peers that you don't do serious research. Good luck and I hope I've been some help. Others may think me negative, but I'm just being realistic about what it takes to get serious recognition for an idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 1:27:20 PM PDT
@Yog-Sothoth:

New and full moons are alignments, but eclipses are the most aligned. The last eclipse was a solar eclipse. While some of the biggest recent earthquakes have happened during solar eclipses, since 1973 the increase in major earthquakes during solar eclipses is not worth jumping up and down about. I only found increases during lunar eclipses.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 5:07:14 PM PDT
@Lj3d: I can only guess that a tug of war between Sun/Earth/Moon is somehow more effective than them pulling us from two different directions. It's probably too complicated for a non-scientist to work out...

I've made the full data available here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Avj6d6nLwrEbdEY4SU1Gb2hpUmNBTXphLVU1cDNQYUE

The first tab has the data, the second describes where I sourced the data from.

1720 earthquakes of 6.5+ magnitude in 14031 days (Jan 1 1973 until today) equals 1 in every 8.15 days. Average magnitude 6.878.

45 earthquakes of 6.5+ magnitude from 90 eclipses, from 270 days = 1 in every 6 days. Average magnitude 6.945.

179 earthquakes of 7.5+ magnitude in 14031 days equals 1 in every 78.3 days

7 earthquakes of 7.5+ magnitude from 90 eclipses, from 270 days = 1 in every 38.5 days

It is up to date, including today. So, basically if no major quake happens today or tomorrow, the numbers are still accurate. If there is one, then the numbers become slightly more convincing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 6:49:04 PM PDT
You're wrong. The tidal forces with the moon and sun on opposite sides are only very slightly less than when on the same side.

The differences between new/full moons and actual eclipses are MUCH tinier than the daily tidal forces.

Annular eclipses require the moon to be farther away than average.

This whole thread is loaded with misconceptions, especially your original "thesis", which is fraudulent pseudoscientific nonsense; and not conducted in a proper scientific way at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 7:01:33 PM PDT
I don't have a thesis, and I'm not an astronomer or a geologist. But if you can explain why more major earthquakes occur in the days surrounding a lunar eclipse, be my guest!

Or, feel free to find an error in my numbers - the data is there for all to see.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 10:55:24 PM PDT
Yog-Sothoth says:
RDS: Although I promote the idea of a 2012 doomsday, I reject most aspects of it.

Well, that explains a lot...

You state that you "reject most aspects of it", but by acknowledging/accepting that there IS a "2012 doomsday" runs up the BS flag...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 11:06:09 PM PDT
I doubt that it is statistically significant, but it has been too long since I have done such calculations. You should check with a statistician.

I have no idea what hidden biases might have occurred in the original data selection. You might be surprised at how many ways that can happen.

This may all be by pure chance. If it has gone the other way (weak earthquakes during eclipses), no one would notice or care.

The lack of the alleged effect during solar eclipses (moon and sun on same side of earth) is very suspicious.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 11:11:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 3, 2012 11:12:13 PM PDT
@Yog-Sothoth :
There is big difference between the idea of a 2012 doomsday, and saying there will be a doomsday. I say it is a possibility, based on science alone. There are two events that an ancient culture could predict for 2012. I'm not saying that they did, or that they were accurate in their prediction - I'm saying there are two possibilities for a 5,000 year long calendar ending this year.

Return of a long period comet. An ancient culture may have noticed a comet that turns up every 1,000 years or so. If there is such a thing, modern science could be oblivious to it. Unless it is a "dark comet" it should be visible round about now by the latest. That's if the ancient culture were accurate - predicting a comet's return with accuracy is difficult, but they might have had a go.

Patterns in low-latitude auroras. Again, over very long periods of time an ancient culture could have spotted something that we have not. Auroras at low latitudes represent major solar storms. An ancient prediction for an auroral display could mean a solar storm that knocks out our power grids.

These are long shots, but I don't think anyone else has come up with plausible (albeit only remotely possible) answers to the Mayan Long Count calendar riddle.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 11:25:03 PM PDT
@Eugene R. Walker

I'm happy with the 6.5+ quakes being statistically significant, but I admit the 7.5+, with only 7 instances, is not. But taken together with the 6.5+ results, the 7.5+ have extra likelihood of being correct. It's just hard to tell if it is really double the instances in days around a lunar eclipse, or a lesser margin. Only time can tell, for there is no more data I can use.

The only selection I made regarding the data was the magnitudes. I looked at 6.5+, 7.0+, 7.5+ and 8.0+. Those were arbitrarily chosen by me. There are two 7.4 and two 7.3 quakes at eclipse times since 1973. If I chose to look at a 7.3+ or 7.4+ magnitude, the numbers would be even more compelling - but unlike many real scientists out there, I'm not going to work the numbers like that.

(BTW, I did it all by hand - I'm sure someone with better data skills could look at lower magnitude quakes as well. There are just too many for me...)

The increase in quakes around solar eclipses was marginal and not statistically relevant. But there might be something to them:

The pair of earthquakes with the most fatalities in the last 6 years were Haiti on January 12, 2010 and Kashmir on October 8, 2005. Both of these devastating quakes occurred within 5 days of a solar eclipse.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 11:25:07 PM PDT
Re Skelton, above: "An ancient culture may have noticed a comet that turns up every 1,000 years or so." There is no way that an ancient culture could have determined this -- even if they actually had two observations of the same comet. So no doomsday prediction could have been based on such an event.

"Patterns in low-latitude auroras." These are completely irrelevant to any civilization which does not use electrical devices. So, no doomsday prediction could have been based on this either.

Bottom line: you have not made a credible case for your thesis. There are statistical tests that could be applied to your data to see if it is significant, but you will need to talk to a statistician about how to do this.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 11:34:47 AM PDT
Lj3d says:
Excellent. I'll have to get to it later in the week. At least your starting to separate yourself from the standard trolls around here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 11:40:54 AM PDT
Lj3d says:
I think all that's going to happen as far is 2012 is that something significant might happen and all the doomsayers will take credit...but in the end, whatever happens will be coincidence. As good as the ancients were, they were good with unaided eye astronomy. However, I have not seen any convincing reasons that they could really predict events centuries into the future. In addition, why would they? Its not going to matter to their society for generations. They died out or scattered and failed to foresee that? IMO, too many people put too much stock in human ability to foresee something in a manner similar to deifying someone.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 2:24:26 PM PDT
RDS

As to alignment, the sun is the major gravity, the moon's is almost nada in regard to the earth's gravity effecting the moon. The most stress would likely be at those times that the earth was closest to the sun, but that doesn't seem to have a great effect on earthquakes and tides.

I am not knowledgeable on the subject, be gentle.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 2:28:38 PM PDT
RDS

The end of a cycle does not imply a catastrophe. We manage to get through them every year and century change without them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 2:36:27 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 4:10:12 PM PDT
barbW says:
oops, you're right. We had a large crowd for an end of semester event. We were watching it with a pin hole projector, and we were all saying it was closer. Too much wine and good times and far too much talk about politics, I guess.. lol Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 4:27:17 PM PDT
barbW says:
So you're saying their calendar's cycles could reflect the returns of a bright comet? There should be evidence and some correlations, because we have records of bright comets.

But why would such increases in solar activity be a predictable glorious display? They had records up until they created their calendar - and then again you're saying, their calendar's cycles reflect these events from their past?

It's interesting. Thanks for spurring my thoughts.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 4:37:29 PM PDT
barbW says:
the Moon is responsible for 56% of tidal energy while the Sun exerts the 44%
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