Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Earth off its axis?

 I had a chance encounter with a friend today that led to a different discussion than we normally have. Normally we talk about history, Indian wars, or unique geology. He is a man that I respect for his knowledge and wisdom. So, I was taken a little bit aback when he asked me if I had noticed that the sun had started setting somewhat north of what is usually does. I said, “Well of course, we just passed the Summer Solstice, it sets way, way north this time of the year.” He explained that no, that is not what he meant, he knew all about the solstices and the equinoxes. So, he asked again, knowing that I grew up here, if I had noticed that the sun might be setting further north than it used to. He had heard a theory that the earth's axis was changing

I started searching my memory for some way to prove that the sun was setting in the exact same place. I remember thinking the other night that the sun was setting way north, but I had no frame of reference to decide if it was setting in the normal place or simple my imagination that it was further north.

So, my stomach tensed a little bit and I said: “Well if the earth had changed on its axis, we would be having major earthquakes, volcanoes, melting ice caps and strange weather patterns. My stomach tensed a little more as I thought about what I had just said. I stared to recall that we have been having all those changes. We even had snow in Tahoe today… at the end of June for crumb sakes.

I laughed a little nervously and told him, “Well I have an open mind, and you know me, I don’t believe in anything without absolute proof, so maybe I’m the wrong person to ask.”

About then we got interrupted and we went our separate ways. I spent the rest of the day thinking about what he had said, and what I could say that would set his mind at ease. I thought about the fact that Japan had just had a major earthquake, and that it had moved the island 8 feet, and supposedly moved the earth off it’s axis about 10 centimeters, which is about 4 inches in American. I pondered that 4” shouldn’t even be noticeable. I was somewhat comforted by the thought that at least somebody is checking it. Then my stomach did that thing again. I thought: “What if the axis has already been moving? And, the Japanese earthquake just moved it that much more!” Crap, that thought wasn’t that comforting.

I spent a little time wondering if the government would tell us if the earth was moving off its axis. Then I thought about all those science fiction movies where the President gets a very serious look on his face and says: “We can’t tell the people about this, it would cause panic and people would be jumping out of windows and stuff”. I always think, what the hell difference would it make to tell people if the world was going to end anyway? That, and the government would lie to us when the truth would serve better.

At my earliest convenience I decided to use my old fall-back. I Googled it. Well that wasn’t very reassuring! I found Article after article about the earth moving on it’s axis. Now, I know that there are things that can’t be hid. Like where the needle on a compass points. No comfort there, Magnetic North is moving wildly toward Russia. Moscow will probably be the Magnetic North Pole someday. Well at this point, I need a little reassurance, can anybody tell me that we are on the same axis? It sure feels like we are. But…..

I put some links, for you to follow, down below. You can spend hours clicking through them. I had the same thought as I had with the government. Why are they spending so much time warning us? The guy down town, that walks around with the big stick, (he calls it “A Staff”) will give you his prophesy if you ask. I always feel obligated to ask him. He says that the only thing that is saving us from major tidal waves in the Pacific Ocean is God is holding them back. I’m thinking tomorrow that I’m going to ask him about this axis thing. I’m getting a little nervous.
Did you look at them?

The star that all of the others are circling in this time exposure is the North Star. The center of the Earth's axis. Photo taken from Death Valley CA.

I will have to admit that my curious friend had me going for a bit, but all-that-I-am said, “the Earth hasn’t moved.” When I say “all that I am” I mean that I started out worrying about how EVERYTHING worked, even as a small child. No alarm clock or watch was safe from me. I ruined more clocks than any kid that I know. They ticked and kept time. I had to know how they did that! I just knew that the secret was inside, so I took them apart. Wow! Gears! One gear turns left, others turn right, big ones, little ones, the little one that tick-tocks back and forth. You have no idea how fascinating that was for me. When I “fixed” a few and made them run better I couldn’t understand way people were so upset that the clock now ran two or three hours fast every day. The Grumps!

I thought of a couple of dozen very scientific ways to prove that the axis hasn’t moved. But, science just doesn’t get you very far with some people. There are those that think that the moon landing was a fake. So I wracked my brain for a few easily understood solutions. So, here they are:

1- find a sundial that has been in the same place for a hundred years or so, and see if the shadow is still in the same place.
2- And this is my favorite, because it involves duct tape! Find the North Star. It’s right there where it always is. If you can’t find it have a smart friend show you where it is. Take a 6 foot length of plastic 4” sewer pipe. Have your smart friend hold the pipe beside a pole. Sight the north star through the pipe, then quick duct tape it to the pole so it stays in the exact same position. The north star will remain right there in the middle! On the axis, unless it has moved! Okay, it wobbles a little bit because it is not Perfectly north, but it’s so close that even your smart friend can’t tell.
3- Turn on your TV, if you see a picture, the satellites are still in alignment. It seems unlikely that they would change orbit just to accommodate the Earth’s new axis. Watching Sponge Bob Square Pants works the best.


Anonymous said...

My kids think I'm nuts because I look for things like the sun raising and setting in different places. The 3 seasons I lived in the lower Yakima Valley I had a great view of the sun and moon because it was so flat. I used to keep track by aligning the sun with a tree and my window sill in December and June. I didn't see any difference but was planning on setting up a protractor for a measurement between the solstice's.


Ernie Branscomb said...

Keeping track of the Sun and the Moon were some of the first projects of a civilized society. It is thought that they needed to do this, in part, to know when to plant.

Maybe you are becoming civilized.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that, I have no plans to plant unless I move back home which most likely would be a cold day in hell.


Anonymous said...

Another thing, I always in the past when in a new area would find Polaris to get my bearings, now days I just look at a house to see where their satellite dish is pointed.


Anonymous said...

Ernie its time to sober up. You're a shitty writer when you're drunk.

Scorp said...

Since the night you slept with the deer, you've always been my hero. You might try finding someone with a goto style telescope system. They use GPS style guidance. They may not exactly goto where they used to....Bart

Ernie Branscomb said...

Dear Anoymous
I've always been a "shitty writer" I've got the grades to prove it. Fact of the matter is, I hadn't even touched a drop of anthing to "drink" when I wrote this post.
I'm a whole lot more interested in what other people have to say.

Some of the smartest people that I know are "shitty writers" because they have spent there whole lives doing things that are real, not just writing things. Most of them are even proud of who they are, or at least accept responsibity for the things that they say.

Ernie Branscomb said...

The thing that I learned that night, is that you can't sleep with deer. They figure out that you are an interloper and they snort in your ear all night. They are particularly poor sports about finding you trying to sleep under their favorite apple tree.

Chicken Little said...

Ernie, I think you need to exercise some discernment when talking to people on the street. I know the individual you spoke to and he tried to sell me a membership in his new end of the world cult, the Wobblys... the membership came with a free ticket to the poleshift.

I would pay more attention to what the Inuit are saying about the sun, or this guy, or the comments in this link.

Read what you will into this recent warning by the top administrator of NASA:
"A major initiative has been placed on Family/Personal Preparedness for all NASA personnel. The NASA Family/Personal Preparedness Program is designed to provide awareness, resources, and tools to the NASA Family (civil servants and contractors) to prepare for an emergency situation. The most important assets in the successful completion of NASA’s mission are our employees’ and their families. We are taking the steps to prepare our workforce, but it is your personal obligation to prepare yourself and your families for emergencies."

Axis and Atlas shruggles!

charlie two crows said...

Ernie, afew days ago NBC in vegas reported that an astroid passed by earth at 7500 ft elevation. Causing the earth to pull the astroid closer. This caused the earth to wobble on it's axis. The reporter said that an energy could be felt because of the axis shift. My question is why weren't we told 5 days before the astroid was coming, when they dicovered it. I thought we had people watching for astroids? Please check this out.

Ernie Branscomb said...

The best explanation of why the Earth’s axis hasn’t changed would fall within Sir Isaac Newton‘s three laws of motion. Note: they are LAWS not Newton’s Really Nice Ideas.

I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

So far as I know, there has been no force applied to the Earth big enough to move it off its axis. Believe me, we would all know if there had been. It would take a major asteroid impact to even budge the earth, let alone change the axis of spin.

II. The relationship between an object's mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector.

This is the best law, it is best explained with billiard balls. To move a billiard ball you first apply energy to your pool cue stick, the energy is transferred to the cue ball, it rolls toward the object ball, The energy is transferred to the object ball in the direction of the angle that it strikes it. Some of that motion rolls the object ball away from to force that was applied to it and the cue ball retains some of the force to roll away in a new direction.

We would notice being hit by a cue ball the size of Earth, or even a smaller one.

III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

You can’t have the Earth moving off it’s axis without that first action.

These are all fun laws, and you can really get into velocities, trajectories, and other fun stuff if you play with them enough.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I'm not trying to deny that things could happen. A close encounter with an asteroid would definitely change the axis of the Earth. If that had happened, any of the three simple tests that I suggested would tell you it had. Proof, so tangible that you could hit it with a hammer!

The think that most people don’t understand is if the Earth changes it’s axis…. IT”S ALL OVER!!! Some people have no idea of the centrifugal force of the Earth’s rotation.

Years ago, I put an axle on a bicycle wheel, with handle out each side to hold onto with my hands, like the forks on the bicycle. I put a pulley on the side of the wheel to wrap a rope around like a starter rope on a motor. Holding onto the wheel I had someone pull the rope as hard as they could. No matter how hard that I tried, I could not move the axle off its axis. The force that I applied to it actually resulted in the axis moving at a 90 degree angle to the force that I applied. That’s why a motorcycle turns into the direction that you are leaning. You lean to the left with a line straight up and down from the center of the earth to the top of your head. 90 degrees from that line will force the lean to result in the wheel turning to the left.

Any attempt to move the earth off it’s axis, even a little tiny bit would probably turn the earth into a molten rubble field. Even a close miss by a major asteroid could do that. But, I still feel remarkably virgin, like my angle of rotation has been left untouched. I know, science does not count to a lot of people, but it’s all that I have. Could any of my three tests prove anything to the non-believers?

skippy said...

This is very interesting, Ernie.

I've referred this to our local go-to expert science guy, Barry Evans, who might kindly offer his informed insight here or in his popular and long standing North Coast Journal science column, Field Notes.

Or maybe not... he is a busy guy. This stuff is kinda spooky. Barry's a reasonable and rational scientific source who can bring authoritive light to this subject.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks Skippy.
Any scientific knowlege is fine by me.
I'm not any expert by any means. I was fooled a lot as a child. When asked how I could be so gullable, when all I had to do was use my head and I wouldn't get fooled, I started trying to do just that. It works most of the time but not always...

skippy said...

Thanks, Ernie. Whew. I'm glad you didn't mind. Reading your article and links, you might be onto something. Enquiring readers would like to know. The axis of evil?

Mr. Evans also reported an interesting historical and local event from 1930 for the in his recent NCJ column, Huge Meteor Plunges into Sea (or Not) for the curious observer.

Ernie Branscomb said...

The huge meteor story is a great story.
"Barry Evans hates to be the one to ruin a good story, honest!"
Barry sounds like my kind of guy. Most of the stories that I've heard in my life were almost total B.S. but I loved hearing every word of them. The thing that I've discorvered, is no matter how far fetched a story is, there is always a grain of truth in it. With enough stories you will eventually get the whole truth.

I have to admit that I'm really curious to see where this axis shift is going to take us.

charlie two crows said...

Who's lying? NASA says the 60lb. Asteroid that circled the earth on an orbit with the sun on monday was 7500 miles away from earth. NBC in vegas said it was 7500 feet above earth. The local anchor reported the asteroid was flying through our weather satellites and almost struck one. The anchor also reported the asteroid was affecting the earth axis because it was counter rotating the earth. This guy says he felt the energy change in the atmosphere. I guess the same way Ernie feels earth quake energy.

charlie two crows said...

Just for the record: the anchors name is Dana Wagner NBC ch. 3 Vegas.

olmanriver said...

In the late 1970's I met a man who had been living with the Hopi Indians. He was a career soldier, decorated Green Beret, multiple Nam tours previous to visiting the southwest. He had earned the confidence of several of the Hopi Elders who at that time were spreading the Hopi Prophecy. This Hopi prophecy describes this period of time as a time of purification of the planet, or earth changes. Whilst the Mayan predictions for 2012 get most of the attention, our own Native elders have been talking about these times for decades.

The conversation I had with Ernie concerned people online sharing their observations about variations in the position of the sun or moon, I think I have seen three threads on the topic. As did I, you wonder if you are really observing what you are observing. On one of those links there are further links to the proper declinations for the sun at different times of the year seemingly contravening the anecdotal observations that were shared. I personally don't think all these peoples observations are bogus but I have no explanation.

It is obvious to me that we are in a period of dramatic earthchanges and that the next ten years are going to rock the world as we know it. Don't mind saying it.

spyrock said...

i think i've seen that movie. apocolypse now with mbrando. and msheen. charlie's dad. wtf.
then there was mel gibson's apolyptco. we all know what happened to mel since then. lotsa personality shifts. lotsa lost identity. all these dudes saw their whole perception of the world shift. and all they leave us with is wtf. it's just m c esher peeling his onion. getting down to the real self. peeling away the layers of the dream of life.

charlie two crows said...

Oregon this question is for you. Is the axis off, don't know. But the animals are acting strange. The wolves in Yellow Stone have been moving to the Jar bridge wilderness in NE nevada. Pairs of redtail hawks and Eagles have moved to a spring near my place. Fish and gamE said they came from mamath in Cal. Do these animals know something about future volcanic activity? When the Buffalo return, it is for told by the shoshone.

veryfinecat said...

I had the idea to do a google search on this subject and found your blog. This year I've noticed the sun shining in my north facing window already at the 1st of June, nearly at least a week earlier than usual. Also observing the spring equinox, the setting sun seemed not quite exactly aligned with due west this year.
Combined with the Chilean earthquake and the one in Japan, the earth axis has moved quite a bit. At least those two times it made it to the news.
Btw. looking at a satellite dish to see the difference does not work, since the satellites can be adjusted.

Thesis Writing said...

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Anonymous said...

I know the American government covered up the Fukushima radiation levels in California.Yeah I think this pole shift may or may not have a tinge of a little foul play. Yet why is it so warm in America and getting colder in Europe. I always see snow by at least Halloween and here it is December now and it's raining outside. Even if the pole didn't shift. The colder than normal weather in Europe doesn't make sense if we have global warming. I need to get an old astronomy book and do some measurements.I think it might be off by time and position and not by location.