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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


From Super Moons to Comet Elenin – we will NOT get killer earthquakes from the sky

I was wondering why Comet 2010 X1 Elenin was attracting all the attention from the apocalypse and Nibiru crowd rather than Comet 2009 P1 Garrad. It turns out it’s Leonid Elenin’s fault.

According to a video* going around the web at the moment, Leonid Elenin isn’t a real person (Leonid, a long time comet observer who contributes to the comet-obs discussion group and has his own blog, may be surprised at his non–person status, but bear with me for a moment). Leonids' name is a secret code, ELE for Extinction Level Event and NIN for some tatty old goddess. I mean, you just can’t make a decent code from Garrad or McNaught.

The same video claims that it is comet Elenin, rather than “supermoons” that caused the Chilean and Japanese earthquakes.

Now, I see this as another “teachable moment” as in the case of the so-called “supermoons”. There are two issues here; first the statistical issues and then the ideas of scale.

First off, let’s try thinking statistically. In the video much is made of the claim that within 5 days of the alleged closest approach of Elenin and the Earth there was a large earthquake. Now, in any given year there are 1319 quakes between magnitudes 5-5.9, 134 earthquakes of magnitude 6-6.9 (this includes the earthquake that demolished Christchurch) and 15 earthquakes of magnitude 7-7.9. So, choose any random date and within 5 days of that you will almost certainly, on average have a quake of magnitude 6-6.9 in that date range and a roughly 20% chance of having a larger magnitude quake in that time slice. Thus a simple “earthquake somewhere near a comet close approach” is not by itself convincing. You need some sort of physical plausibility.

As we saw in the “supermoon” article, gravitational tidal effects could plausibly trigger earthquakes. The Moon is large and close, but even with the Moon the effect is quite small, it only occurs for certain types of shallow earthquake, and even then less than one percent of these types of earthquake are triggered by lunar tides. Now, The Moon is 7x1022 Kg in mass and 384401Km away. At the March closest approach mentioned in the video, comet Elenin was 273137000 Km away. We don’t know the mass of Elenin, but it is likely to be much smaller than comet Halley, which has a mass of 2.2×1014 Kg. We can use the mass of Halley as a proxy of Elenin for the calculations below.

You can already see that the tidal force due to Elenin is much, much less than that due to the Moon, and we know that the tidal force falls off as the cube of the distance. Now we know the formula for tidal force and we can calculate the tidal force of Elenin relative to the Moon (using Halley's mass for Elenin, an overestimate). It’s a staggering 1034 times less than that of the Moon. So the plausibility of Elenin causing an earthquake is similarly low.

Finally, the video claims that the “alignments” of Elenin and Earth and Sun were on February 27 2010 and March 11-15 2011. The “alignments” were apparently determined by eye from the JPL orbit widget (which explicitly says not to use the orbit widget for this purpose). Fortunately, there are programs that can analytically determine when the closest approach of the comet too Eath is (when the comet, Earth and Sun are aligned). I use SkyMap with the latest orbital elements. It turns out that the comet was aligned with Earth on 27 March 2010 (nowhere near the Chile Earthquake) and will only next be aligned in May 5 2011 (before closest approach on 16 October 2011, again, nowhere near the Japanese Earthquake). No alignment, no earthquake to explain.

The take home message is to keep a sense of proportion (proportion, get it) and don’t try to estimate astronomical alignments by eye on tiny JAVA animations (oh, and check to see that the guy you are claiming is imaginary really does exist).

*I’m not going to link to the video, if you want to destroy your brain cells, go to this comment and copy and paste the URL. On your own head be it.

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are you saying it was not aligned this month at all??
regardless we dont know where this thing is gonna hit or when its gonna hit people should realize that life is a fuckin joke
u dont have any information that proves how far it is from us..its 15 au away and explain the axis shift the earth quakes on the pacific plate..why the moon is gonna be bigger tonight the solar flare that was seen our future is a fuckin stake an all u can say we will not get filler earth quakes from the sky..i think your wrong on so many levels..2012 was over looked ppl didnt add the time right and were off by a year and less then 2 months..
it has nothing to do with leonid its ele nin. look ele nin up and put the words together
Elenin will not hit us, the closest it will come is approximately a quarter of the distance from Earth to the Sun (about 100 times the distance from Earth to the Moon). We have very good data on the distance from us to Elenin from dozens of amateurs measuring it's orbit.

You can do it yourself. Get yourself an account on one of the many robot telescopes, take some images and use astrometery software to work out the orbit.
Actually, the CME of 3/9/11 arrived to Earth's magnetosphere at exactly the same moment the 9.0 Japan quake struck. So the quake was seemingly triggered from the sky.

Respectfully submitted, seeking correction,

The CME arrived on 10 March, well before the quake struck, and there is no association between CME's and earthquakes.
A quick question - I make Comet Elenin's tidal force to be about 10^-17 that of the Moon:

My calculation:

[2.2E+14 * (3.8E+05 ^ 3)] / [7.0E+22 * (2.70E+08 ^ 3)]

Have I forgotten something?

(Not that it affects the main point - 10^-17 is still trivial and approximates to the effect of one Airbus A380 in the same orbit as the moon!)
Anyone who thinks that solar cycles, solar flares, sun spots, and CMEs have no correlation to earthquakes clearly understands neither.

Anyone can go to USGS, dump the earthquake history database to a csv file, make a graph out of it in Excel, and compare it to solar cycles. The is a very clear and obvious correlation between the two.

Further, every time a big glare or CME hits the Earth, a significant also happens. Look it up for yourself.
Dave Said "I make Comet Elenin's tidal force to be about 10^-17"

I use the full Tidal Force Equation, that may make a difference.
Colby, yes, I have dumped large amounts of the UGS database, and I follow flare alerts pretty closely, there is no association between flares and earthquakes greater than chance alone.
If it is true that there is no correlation other than chance alone, earthquakes and solar flares should go to Vegas, because they have a perfect track record and "by chance" they correlate cycle after cycle... I would take those odds...
Moreover, despite what modern cosmologists, geologists, astrophysicists believe, everything in the universe is a system. It is all interconnected. Believe it or not, the sun has an effect on the earth. SHOCKING!!! I know... Whodathunk!?!?!

Further, I refuse to rely on the suppositions of modern cosmologists who have been educated stupid and whom are in the dark ages regarding their understandings of the universe. I have said this before and I will say it again (elsewhere obviously), the concepts of cosmology that astrophysicists, cosmologists, astronomers, et al. are taught are equivalent to bleedings practiced by medical professionals 100 years ago. It is quite dismal. And, everything they say should be disregarded out of hand... prima-facie stupid... count on it... It is nothing more than propaganda meant to distract from the true nature of the universe and it is taught by people whom are bought and paid for with grants to perpetuate the same. Unfortunately, professionals in these areas are paid what to think and bribed or threatened to stay on topic.

Until they understand and apply the electrical model of the universe, nothing they say can be taken seriously.

If you are a cosmologist or astrophysicist, this might come off a little smug or insulting. Please do not take it that way. It is actually the truth. Look into it and research it for yourself. Once you do, you will both love me and hate me.

You will love me because I have introduced you to the true composition of the universe and suddenly everything will make sense. Nearly all anomalies are instantly explained.

You will hate me because you will no longer be able to play house and have make believe tea parties with other cosmologists and pretend that the gravitational model of the universe explains everything.
I think I digressed a little bit. BTW, I believe you are using the wrong setting for Stellarium.

The orbit of Elenin has changed a bit since the JPL model was creatd. I found the following on another site (ldsavow.com), posted by Phil. Add the following to the end of ssystem.ini:

name = Elenin
parent = Sun
coord_func = comet_orbit
radius = 178730
oblateness = 0.0
albedo = 1
lighting = true
halo = true
color = 1.0,1.0,1.0
tex_halo = star16x16.png
tex_map = nomap.png
orbit_Epoch = 2455599.500000000
orbit_TimeAtPericenter = 2455815.227740989
orbit_PericenterDistance = 0.4824396869383982
orbit_Eccentricity = 1.000035588736818
orbit_ArgOfPericenter = 343.7982766450243
orbit_AscendingNode = 323.2361820944037
orbit_Inclination = 1.839592508279975

Then, restart Stellarium and Elenin should be visible.
For the benefit of those who are interested, I've plotted earthquake frequency vs solar cycle and solar flares at http://astroblogger.blogspot.com/2011/03/solar-activity-vs-earthquakes.html
Colby wrote:I believe you are using the wrong setting for Stellarium

No, the Stellarium setting are the latest MPEC values, it's Celestia I have to use old values for to get it to work.

Stellarium issues obviated by upgrading to 10.6.1, which allows you to download the MPEC data direct.
People say 2012 but if they were better informed they knew that the "real" date (in the "mayan's long count calendar") is theorically 28 october 2011...
I understand why it's disturbing regardless to the date when Elenin is closest to Earth...
Hope it's a coincidence...again...
And for information the starting date of the last period of this calendar is 11 febuary 2011..another coincidence..again and again..
Have fun and treat your karma
to infinity and beyond!
Here's my prediction, Your area is going to get flooded in the next large earthquake.

And get a shave..
how can anyone calculate elenin's path without know it's mass?
hi how come nasa didnt warn us in advance about this comet?

Have you heard of the new Electric Universe theory catching fire? It says that gravity may not be the most powerful force in the Comos. Instead Electrical Energy in the form of plasma affects planets interaction without being aligned just within close proximity. Not necessarily that close either.
Firstly you do it empirically, just based on on positions from the observations just assuming its a fairly elliptical curve, but then those curves, and the brightness, puts limits on the size and mass. Then you plug those into the proper calculations, and when the predictions and the actual positions match up you have pretty well nailed the mass within reasonable limits (eg 3-4 Km). See http://astroblogger.blogspot.com/2011/04/will-c2010-x1-elenin-comet-of-doom.html for some more details.
Jayco wrote: hi how come nasa didnt warn us in advance about this comet?

How could they? Until Leonid discovered it, the comet was unknown and unobserved. NASA is not telepathic, and Hubble doesn't search for comets.
I can see how the combination of elenin, sun and earth? I have seen the comet with the ephemeris stellarium published by NASA. What simulator I can use? thanks
Hi, someone asked how the orbital path could be calculaterd without knowing its mass. I would be interested to hear your theories on this?
Also I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the mystery surrounding the size of C/2010 X1.
BTW I have spoken with someone claiming to be Dr Elenin on facebook. He is accepting friends. Trouble is I could have set up a facebook account in that name, without too much difficulty. Normally you take things like a persons identity at face value, but this is a worthy exception i believe.
Thank you for your blog.
I have enjoyed reading all these comments. It makes it clear to me how little we really know.

Ian, I don't think it is right to state that neither CMEs or Solar Flares have any relationship to Earthquakes. The fact is we do not know. I do think it is likely that there is a relationship. Solar activity is known to affect the Earths Electromagnetic field. If the Earth is essentially an Electromagnet, then it is plausable that Solar activity can affect the earth's electromagnetic core.
Absolutely said: Hi, someone asked how the orbital path could be calculaterd without knowing its mass. I would be interested to hear your theories on this?

See my comment three comments above. Also, there is no mystery about it's mass, see the article referenced in the above comment.
Will Barrett said...I have enjoyed reading all these comments. It makes it clear to me how little we really know. Ian, I don't think it is right to state that neither CMEs or Solar Flares have any relationship to Earthquakes.

See http://astroblogger.blogspot.com/2011/03/solar-activity-vs-earthquakes.html
Give earth your own asteroid hit on http://www.purdue.edu/impactearth/ and get the consequences calculated.
The NASA JPL Small Object Browser says not to use it to determine where objects will be over long periods of times like decades...etc. I read that to make sure I didn't misinterpret what others were looking at. 18 months is not that big of a time frame for rough estimations. And I agree a normal comet's mass is insufficient to disturb the earth's surface. And a 5 day window for an alignment isn't that sloppy for an alignment... I hear, in astronomical terms, 40,000 miles is practically a head on collision when you speak on huge cosmic scales as this.

Are you saying the doubling in seismic activity (as reported by the USGS) over the past few years (around the ring of fire) is what... normal?

If so, please provide facts of some kind.
G'Day JD Howes. It's also not appropriate for determining alignments and so on, since it's a visual tool without analytic capability. You also say "And a 5 day window for an alignment isn't that sloppy for an alignment". When you will get a whole bunch of earthquakes of various magnitudes in any random 5 day chunk, then a 5 day window is sloppy indeed.

"I hear, in astronomical terms, 40,000 miles is practically a head on collision".

No, no it's not. Especially when tidal force falls off as the cube of the distance.

"IAre you saying the doubling in seismic activity (as reported by the USGS) over the past few years (around the ring of fire) is what... normal?".

Yep, just part of the normal variation, see
See http://astroblogger.blogspot.com/2011/03/solar-activity-vs-earthquakes.html
Dr Mensur Omerbashich wrote a paper documenting the irrefutable relationship between astronomical alignments and earthquakes. Following is the paper summary and a link to the actual paper:

I here demonstrate empirically my geo-resonator concept in which tidally induced magnification of Earth masses' resonance causes seismicity. To that end, I show that all strong (~M6+) earthquakes of 2010 occurred during the Earth's long (t>3 day) astronomical alignments within our solar system. I then show that the same holds true for all very strong (~M8+) earthquakes of the decade of 2000s. Finally, the strongest (M8.6+) earthquakes of the past century are shown to have occurred during the Earth's multiple long alignments, whereas half of the high-strongest (M9+) ones occurred during the Full Moon. I used the comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin), as it has been adding to robustness in terms of very strong seismicity since 2007 (in terms of strongest seismicity: since 1965). The Elenin will continue intensifying the Earth's very strong seismicity until August-October, 2011. Approximate forecast of earthquakes based on my discoveries is feasible. This demonstration proves my hyper-resonator concept, arrived at earlier as a mathematical-physical solution to the most general extension of the geo-resonator concept possible.
Hey Colby, have you looked into the legitimacy of this Omerbashich character? First of all, that is not a peer reviewed paper. Secondly, I found this video interesting dealing with this man. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-5UxPz96JI
I have looked into Dr Mensur Omerbashich, his history, his website, his papers, and the fact that this paper is not peer reviewed. And, he seems a little weird.

But, I am less interested in that than in the evidence that is presented, which is independently verifiable. Just because Dr Mensur Omerbashich is a little strange, does not mean the verifieable evidence and correlations he has put forward are not significant and credible.

Regarding the peer review and publishing process, this has less to do with fact and more to do with politics and grant money. Many things that are factual, do not survive the process of peer review and publishing and many things that are peer reviewed and published are simply not true. Long story short, this process is hopelessly flawed.
wow whoever wrote this has no idea How can you say your smarter than NASA ?? how is .23 au 100 times the distance of the moon? Do your research before you upload a bunch of false info man js
The Moon is 0.0025 AU* from Earth, , which is pretty much 100 times the distance Elenin will be from us (0.23 AU)

*The Moon is on average 384,400 Km from Earth although it comes closer, 1 AU is 149,597,870.7
ok check this vids and pics try to debunk with science ...not just naked eye.. use photo software

Anonymous said... ok check this vids and pics try to debunk with science ...not just naked eye.. use photo software

They are just camera artefacts from the suns glare.

I see that is a bright white dot to the left on the sun on SOHO LASCO C3

Is that Elenin or some thing else, some people say that can be a neutron star or something else

And people is afraid that Elenin will hit the earth and couse an end

from a worid 29 year old boy from Norway
Norwegian Anonymous wrote: I see that is a bright white dot to the left on the sun on SOHO LASCO C3

That is Venus. Elenin is not yet in the field of view of SOHO.

For more Elenin information, see my Elenin FAQ
One of the things I love about believing that nothing will happen is, when nothing happens, I can make fun of the Doomsdayers. If doomsday does occur, I can say to them, congrats on being right, but you're still dying as well. Ha ha ha... I get the last laugh either way. Plus the bank can stick my mortgage where the sun don't shine.
I read an article that claims quite authoritively that Saturn's poles have shifted 90 degrees since Elenin arrived in its vicinity.

There also appears to be ample evidence that a huge explosion occurred on the suface of the Sun that is of great concern to scientists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyi4hjG6kDM.

Therefore, I can understand why you are skeptical about the claims related to Elenin, but do you have any answers and evidence about the phenomena with Saturn and the Sun mentioned here?
No, Saturn has not tilted, the person who wrote that didn't realize that telescopes invert images. Go to the main site and scroll down to The August 2 post. On just this topic.

I really appreciate you are taking time to answer and clearing up the confusion on this matter.

I would like to know what could happen if Comet Elenin experiences an outburst just when it passes between Earth and Sun, specially in late September and early October when its close to Earth and Sun at same time.

I observered Comet Holmes when it had sudden outburst that made it very bright enough to be even observed with naked eyes.

If wikipedia is right, "Holmes unexpectedly brightened from a magnitude of 17 to about 2.8 in a period of only 42 hours"

So does that means we can expect something similar unexpected from this comet as well?

The problem with flare-ups is that they are completely unpredictable, we didn't expect Holmes to flare up like that, Hartley didn't flare at all.

Comets dropping in to the solar system for the first time are less likely to flare than ones that have done the rounds, presumably because their crust is more intact.
Thank you so much for your answer.
Let's say if it does flare up like Holmes, between Earth and Sun, would you like to give your opinion on What observations we can expect on Earth?
Few hours untill 26/9/2011, and we will cthe the true and right vision abou ele nin or ELENiN in the next day witch it ilwill be 27/9/2011. and thanks for the information.
"earthquakes and solar flares should go to Vegas, because they have a perfect track record and "by chance" they correlate cycle after cycle... I would take those odds..."

Repeat after me: Correlation is not causation.
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