The Japan Earthquake Weakened Earth's Gravity

By Adrian Covert on at

The Japan earthquake in March was big. Obviously. But recent satellite analysis by researchers reveal it was so big that it actually effected the gravitational field surrounding Japan.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the uneven mass distribution on Earth means gravity has different magnitudes in different places. The earthquake was strong enough to produce a measurable difference because it thinned out the crust around Japan.

The researchers found the Tohoku-Oki quake reduced the gravity field there by an average of two- millionths of a gal by slightly thinning the Earth's crust. In comparison, the strength of the gravitational pull at the Earth's surface is, on average, 980 gals. (The gal, short for Galileo, is a unit of acceleration; one gal is defined as one centimeter per second squared).

That may be a small amount, but still, effecting gravity at all is insane. [CS Monitor]