Did the Chile Quake shift the Earth's axis?

The 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on Feb. 27 was so powerful it may have tipped Earth’s axis and shortened the length of a day, scientists at NASA say.

According to NASA, a complex computer model’s preliminary calculation shows that Earth’s days should have shortened by 1.26 microseconds (a microsecond is a one millionth of a second).

A large quake shifts enough rock to redistribute the mass of the planet, which can speed its rotation.

The change won’t be noticed in day-to-day life, but is permanent.

NASA scientist Richard Gross also calculated that the quake moved Earth’s figure axis (the axis about which Earth’s mass is balanced) by about eight centimetres.

Read the rest at CTV British Columbia.

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