Tuesday, 05 Aug, 2008 Environment

Can a Nuclear Explosion Impact Earth's Spinning?


Can a Nuclear Explosion Impact Earth's SpinningUndoubtedly nuclear weapons currently represent the most powerful weapon on earth. However, even their enormous power is less likely to have an impact on the rotation of the Earth on its axis.

A way to prove this fact is to compare the energy that is emitted by explosion of nuclear weapons to the energy of Earth's spinning. Today the energy of the most powerful nuclear bombs reaches several tens of megatons, which is about 1017 Joules, while the energy of the Earth's spinning is equal to about 1029 Joules.

Thus, even if all the power of a nuclear blast was used to alter the rotation of Earth on its axis, the energy of the explosion would be trillion times less than Earth's rotation energy. The use a nuclear blast in order to alter the Earth's rotation is like using a flying mosquito to change the direction of a speeding vehicle.

The spinning of Earth cannot be altered even by large earthquakes. According to scientific estimations, the huge tsunami that in 2004 led to Sumatra earthquake had a minuscule impact on Earth, making the day shorter by a few millionths of a second and moving the North Pole by 1 inch.

It was calculated that the magnitude of the Sumatra earthquake was between 9.1 and 9.3. Its energy was more than 1022 Joules, which is approximately 100,000 times more than the power of the biggest nuclear bombs. Thus, any impact of a nuclear explosion on the spinning of our planet would be much less what is measurable.

It is worth mentioning that the orbital energy of Earth is 10,000 greater than the planet's spinning energy, so the nuclear blasts will have even less impact on our planet's orbit around the sun.

Source: LiveScience

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