Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Earth Vs. Space: Losing Gravity!?

Is NASA warning us to be ready on January 4th at 9:47 AM (PST) for a long-awaited alignment of key planets that will cause a cosmic reverbration resulting in partial weightless on Earth for up to 5 minutes? No. The expertly spoofed tweet that has been circulating the web for a couple weeks is a hoax according to Snopes. So those stories suggesting that if you jump up in the air precisely at 9:47 AM (PST), it will take 3 seconds to land as opposed to the 0.2 seconds it usually takes. Sounds utterly crazy, right?

Well, not so fast. According to the European Space Agency Earth's gravity IS being thrown off by Antartica's rapidly melting ice. Fluctuations in the gravity field have been detected as far as Canada. Researchers now fear the collapse and dissolution of the Southern polar ice cap has become irreversible and the effects (other than a 16-ft rise in sea level) are unknown. So what could happen if gravity is weakened? Could things not rooted to the Earth could fly off?  More than likely, Earth would loose some of it's atmosphere making life more difficult for anything that needs oxygen. Now THAT is scary.

And let's not even talk about the Near-Earth Object, asteroid 99942 Apophis, that is predicted to be the closest fly-by ever. It will fly between the Earth and the Moon on Friday, April 13, 2029 (just our luck), slingshot around, and may hit Earth in 2036. All the more reason to party like it's 1999 2029 and jump up in the air!

1 comment:

  1. First the fake NASA hashtag #beready made me snort.

    Great, my student loans will be paid off in 2036... Figures. Whenever I pay off a car they get hit by another vehicle. I guess a debt as high as my student loan calls for something more serious :-/