Written by Nancy Atkinson

This view of Earth comes from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite.

Yikes! Just how big was the magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile? One scientist says the shaking may have affected the entire planet by shifting Earth on its axis. This possibly may have shortened the length of each day on Earth by about 1.26 microseconds. Using a complex model JPL research scientist Richard Gross computed how Earth's rotation should have changed as a result of the Feb. 27, 2010 quake. If his figures are correct, the quake should have moved Earth's figure axis (the axis about which Earth's mass is balanced) by 2.7 milliarcseconds (about 8 centimeters, or 3 inches).

Earth's figure axis is not the same as its north-south axis; they are offset by about 10 meters (about 33 feet). By comparison, Gross said the same model estimated the 2004 magnitude 9.1 Sumatran earthquake should have shortened the length of day by 6.8 microseconds and shifted Earth's axis by 2.32 milliarcseconds (about 7 centimeters, or 2.76 inches).

Gross said that even though the Chilean earthquake is much smaller than the Sumatran quake, it is predicted to have changed the position of the figure axis by a bit more for two reasons. First, unlike the 2004 Sumatran earthquake, which was located near the equator, the 2010 Chilean earthquake was located in Earth's mid-latitudes, which makes it more effective in shifting Earth's figure axis.

Second, the fault responsible for the 2010 Chiliean earthquake dips into Earth at a slightly steeper angle than does the fault responsible for the 2004 Sumatran earthquake. This makes the Chile fault more effective in moving Earth's mass vertically and hence more effective in shifting Earth's figure axis.

Gross said the Chile predictions will likely change as data on the quake are further refined.

Source: JPL

Although the science of this is measured in centimeters and microseconds, the thing that struck my spirit was that the day was shortened, bringing to mind the words of Jesus. Except those days be shortened there should no flesh be saved. I know that this seems an extreme application of the scripture, but, it is not the event that God was pointing to in my mind, but how this was a prophetic sign indicating the times that we live.

We are living in the generation that will see these events spoken of Jesus surrounding the statement about the shortening of days. Jesus said there would be signs in the heavens above, and signs in the earth beneath. Although this may seem like a small event, it is important because of its prophetic portent.

As these sign begin to increase we will see greater and greater signs of the end times.

An article written in The Sunday Times, USA Weekend February 20-22, 2009, Dennis McCafferty talks of "The good sides of disasters". In the light of this article, there are fresh things to be seen in seeming disasters that are happening in the earth today. As in all disasters, we mourn any loss of life.

If we look into our lives, in the light of the dealings of God, we may get a totally new perspective on the "natural disasters of our lives. Our cry needs to be, Lord, in the midst of the disasters of my life, would you show me the "good side". Show me the prophetic side, as well as what treasures are released in my life or are brought closer to the surface, because of the disaster.

Although the above event, did not change our lives on a major scale, it did effect us and the earth will never be the same because of the earthquake in Chile. The seeming disasters in our lives will change our lives forever, whether we recognize it or not. I believe it is the heart of God that we allow Him to teach us and permanently change our lives to be more in line with His will, through the disasters that befall us.

Because of His grace and mercy, the days will be shortened. Selah!

Dr Bill