Wednesday, March 16, 2011
From Super Moons to Comet Elenin – we will NOT get killer earthquakes from the sky
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.
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.
Respectfully submitted, seeking correction,
[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 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.
I use the full Tidal Force Equation, that may make a difference.
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.
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.
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.
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!
And get a shave..
How could they? Until Leonid discovered it, the comet was unknown and unobserved. NASA is not telepathic, and Hubble doesn't search for comets.
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.
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.
See my comment three comments above. Also, there is no mystery about it's mass, see the article referenced in the above comment.
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.
"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
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.
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.
*The Moon is on average 384,400 Km from Earth although it comes closer, 1 AU is 149,597,870.7
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
That is Venus. Elenin is not yet in the field of view of SOHO.
For more Elenin information, see my Elenin FAQ
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?
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?
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.
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?
Repeat after me: Correlation is not causation.