Will Comet Elenin cause major earthquakes as it approaches Earth?
May 27, 2011. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.
May 27, 2011. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.
Fig 1. Is Comet Elenin really a Brown Dwarf?
There has been growing scientific debate about Comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin) as it approaches the Earth, and its significance as it comes as close as 0.23 Astronomic Units -about one quarter the distance between the Earth and the sun - on October 16, 2011. At one end of the spectrum are NASA scientists claiming that Elenin is little more than a comet comprising icy space debris with negligible mass that will have little effect on the Earth. At the other end are some scientists and private researchers claiming that Elenin is a large planetary body, possibly a brown dwarf star, and its near approach will have calamitous effects.
Much of the evidence for Elenin being a large planetary body has been centered on conspiracy theories related to a government cover-up of an incoming brown dwarf star given the name Planet X. Rather than mere conjecture by conspiracy theorists, Planet X was first reported by the Washington Post and New York Times in two articles that appeared in 1983.
The debate over Elenin's significance has been dramatically changed with the emergence of a Bosnian scientist who has released a remarkable paper tracking the relationship between planetary alignments and seismic (earthquake) activity on the Earth. Dr Mensur Omerbashich claims that since 2006, comet Elenin has had a measurable impact on the Earth's seismic activity. If Dr Omerbashich is correct, then we can expect a rapid surge in seismic activity in terms of major earthquakes as Elenin approaches the Earth during the latter part of 2011.
Dr Omerbashich's paper was released on April 11, 2011 and is titled "Astronomical Alignments as the cause of ~M6 + seismicity." His basic idea is that as planetary bodies align with the Earth, that seismic activity increases. He provides historic data on large earthquakes, greater than magnitude 6, and how these have occurred during planetary alignments. For example, he notes that the 9.1 earthquake that hit Indonesia on December 26, 2004 causing over 230,000 deaths around the Indian Ocean, occurred when the Earth, Mercury and Venus were in alignment. At first, the planetary alignment thesis seems puzzling since it's not obvious what is happening during an alignment that would cause seismic behavior on Earth.
Dr Omerbashich doesn't explain the dynamic processes behind planetary alignments and how these impact on seismicity. He simply provides historic data suggesting that physical processes are indeed occurring during an alignment that cause the seismic activity. So that naturally leads to the question, what is happening during a planetary alignment that would cause earthquakes on Earth? The main candidate for a viable response to this question is the "electric universe" or "plasma cosmology" model.
Plasma cosmology is an astronomical model that suggests that the
sun and planets are electrically charged celestial objects that exist
in an electric field that is generated by the sun in a radial direction
(like the spokes on a bicycle wheel) throughout the solar system.
Charges flow through this electric field by virtue of the plasma particles
that are constantly being released by the sun (aka solar wind). Plasma
is the fourth state of matter (solid, liquid, and gas being the first
three) and comprises free protons, neutrons, electrons and ions that
make up atoms. Plasma is not electrically neutral, but is a superconductor
that can carry electrical charges throughout the solar system (and
indeed into interstellar and intergalactic space)
As electrical charges are distributed by plasma through the solar system, then different regions of space become electrically charged depending on their distance from the sun. Put simply, the sun comprises a large positive charge while the distant ends of the solar system form the most negatively charged regions of the solar system. In between, the electric field of the sun and the plasma currents flowing from it through space, provide electrical charges to planets, asteroids and comets depending on the nature of their orbits and proximity to one another.
Fig 2. Plasma discharge - note radial path of plasma
Plasma discharges (see Fig 2) therefore regularly occur between celestial bodies. When a comet moves close to a planet or the sun, the comet's electrical charge is significantly different in that region of the solar system's electrical field. The accumulation of charge and/or a plasma discharge subsequently occurs. For example, when comets travel close to the sun, plasma discharges (aka Coronal Mass Ejections) have been observed to occur. Most astronomers are puzzled by such events which they currently regard as mere coincidence. For supporters of plasma cosmology, however, the sun's behavior when comet's approach is evidence of the plasma discharge that regularly occurs when two charged celestial bodies approach each other.
The plasma cosmology model gives us a means of understanding how the planetary alignments that Dr Omerbashich discusses are directly related to seismic activity. Essentially, when the Earth is aligned with two or more celestial bodies, then a plasma discharge occurs and seismic activity is stimulated. So now we can better understand how planetary alignments might cause seismic activity which Dr Omerbashich has observed in recent historical data.
Most importantly, he argues that seismic activity has been observed
when the Earth aligned with Comet Elenin as early as 2007. In his
paper, he writes:
Note that, in terms of seismicity, the Elenin started playing a role in 2007, and continued doing so, contributing in 6 out of the 22 alignment-relating seisms. Similarly, the sun participated in 19 such alignments, the Mercury in 9, the Venus in 8, the moon in 9, the Mars in 2, the Jupiter in 4, the Saturn in 1, the Uranus in 2, and the Neptune in 1.
Under the electric universe model, it is understandable how the sun would be so dominant in planetary alignments associated with large earthquake activity. This is consistent with Dr Omerbashich's own view that: "Proximity of the Earth to the alignments of other celestial bodies, particularly of those involving the Sun, can result in intense seismic activity " Similarly, the electric universe model helps explain why Mercury and Venus also play prominent roles in alignments associated with seismic activity on Earth. What's very important is noting that larger planetary bodies such as Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, have not played prominent roles in planetary alignments. Yet mysteriously, Elenin has.
Fig 3. Elenin's alignment with Mercury and Earth on March 8, 2011
For example, on March 8, 2011, Elenin formed an alignment with the Earth and Mercury, 3 days before the devastating Japan magnitude 9 earthquake (see fig 3). How can Elenin play such a prominent role in seismic activity if it is just a small comet with little mass as NASA argues?
Dr Omerbashich's model does point to a large planetary body given Elenin's effect on Earth from distances as far away as Uranus. This has been cited by researchers believing Dr Omerbashich's paper supports the brown dwarf explanation for Elenin. There is, however, a major problem with the brown dwarf explanation. If Elenin was a brown dwarf, its huge mass (not yet known) and velocity of approximately 50,000 miles per hour during perihelion of 0.46 AU (closest point to the sun on September 10, 2011) would give it a massive amount of momentum. Elenin's momentum would carry it far past the sun and the inner solar system, well into the outer solar system before the sun's gravity could slow and change Elenin's direction enough to make it swing back past the sun in a very long and narrow loop.
According to JPL's simulation for Elenin's orbit, however, it in fact swings around the sun in a 90 degree arc when it passes into (August 1, 2011) and leaves Earth's orbit (October 16) (see figure 4). A brown dwarf would take far longer than the less than three months it took for Elenin to change its direction by 90 degrees in passing by our sun while within Earth's orbit.
Fig. 4. Elenin's passage through the inner solar system
Fig 5. Passage of Elenin through solar system
Elinin's projected orbit into and out of the solar system shows that its path is similar to many long period comets where the sun swings it back almost 180 degrees (see figure 5). The JPL simulation tells us that Elinin's momentum is not that large since the sun's gravity so quickly changes its direction. Elenin is therefore not a brown dwarf. Its 90 degree swing around the sun before passing the inner solar system suggests Elenin has the mass of a comet. Yet paradoxically, Elenin's distant effect on Earth's seismic activity is similar to what would be expected of large planetary body. So what exactly is Elenin?
If Dr Omerbashich is correct with his planetary alignments and seismic activity thesis, then his data suggests that Elenin is more than a comet with a small mass. Yet the JPL orbital model for Elenin rules out a brown dwarf, and suggests something with negligible mass such as a comet. Despite the paradox from the scientific data, one thing is clear from Dr Omerbashich paper. Elenin's influence on seismic activity on Earth has yet to peak. As it approaches Earth, the planetary alignments with Earth will grow in intensity. In this regard he writes:
The alignments were occurring at the rate of some 20-30 times per year before the Elenin crossed into the Uranus orbit in 2006, and around 30-40 times per year afterwards . The ongoing increase in seismic activity due to combined effects of the Elenin and other celestial objects will continue until the comet crosses into the Earth's orbit around 1 August 2011, when the seismicity will subside as the comet speeds up significantly. At that time it will not have enough time for participating in long astronomical alignments in order to pose imminent danger to the Earth as before. The strongest seismicity will then again increase around 20 October 2011, ie., upon the comet's crossing of the Earth's orbit on the way out, only to continue subsiding till year 2016.
So up to August 1, the incoming Elenin will be involved in further planetary alignments that lead to increased seismic activity on Earth, and then again from October 20 on its outward path. Strangely, Dr Omerbashich argues that between August 1 and October 20, seismic activity will diminish since Elenin will not "have enough time for participating in long astronomical alignments." Yet what he overlooks is what happens as Elenin passes directly between the Earth and the Sun.
Fig 6. Elenin directly between Earth and Sun on September 26, 2011
On September 26, 2011 Elenin will pass between the Earth and sun and will be only 0.396 astronomical units from the Earth (see fig. 6). Not the closest it will be to the Earth during its orbit, that occurs on October 16, but quite possibly the most significant for evaluating its seismic effect on Earth. According to the plasma cosmology model, the position of Elenin directly between the Earth and the sun will make it possible for the most powerful plasma discharge involving Elenin in relation to the Earth. The plasma discharge is likely to stimulate a spike in seismic activity during the August 1 to October 20 period when Dr Omerbashich predicts seismic activity will wane.
Fig 7. Elenin aligns with Earth and Sun on Nov 23, 2011
Another date to watch is November 23, 2011 when Elenin and the Earth will again be in direct alignment with the sun. This time Earth will be in the middle with Elenin only 0.596 AU away from the earth, and the sun on the other side (see Figure 7). This alignment again makes possible a large plasma discharge leading to seismic activity.
In conclusion, Dr Omerbashich's planetary alignment hypothesis is
a dramatic new way of understanding how seismic behavior on Earth
is influenced by the sun and planets. When combined with the plasma
cosmology model, we have a way of understanding the hidden dynamics
behind planetary alignments and why they can directly affect seismic
behavior on planets. Elenin's quick 90 degree swing around the sun
before passing Earth's orbit rules out the brown dwarf explanation.
Yet Elenin's influence on seismic activity on Earth suggests something
more than a comet. Despite the paradox over Elenin's composition and
influence, the scientific data points to it causing intense seismic
activity as Elenin approaches and aligns with the Earth and other
celestial bodies. The dates of September 26 and November 23, 2011
will be very important to watch in terms of high magnitude earthquakes
as Elenin swings in a 90 degree arc through the inner solar system,
and aligns with both the Earth and the sun.
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© Copyright 2011. Michael E. Salla. Exopolitics.org