PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Many of the largest earthquakes in history may have been caused by a wobble in the Earth’s obit, according to an author of a new book about gravity.
William K. Vogeler, speaking to astronomers at the Pasadena Convention Center this month, will explain how recent gravity measurements support his theory. Vogeler contends that the Earth shudders as it approaches the Sun.
“As the Earth accelerates, its weight oscillates and causes the planet to vibrate,” he says.
“This occurs in the lasts days of December and early January when the Earth is passing closest to the Sun,” Vogeler says. “And nearly half of the largest earthquakes in recorded history have occurred during that stage in the planet’s orbit.”
Joined by astronaut Rusty Schweikhart and other professional and amateur astronomers, Vogeler is a speaker at the second annual Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show on Sept. 26 and 27, 2009. He proposes that gravity fluctuates on Earth due to its motion and general relativity, Albert Einstein’s theory that massive objects curve space and time.
“It’s like a car rounding a corner,” Vogeler says in his book. “As a car rounds a curve, you feel the force of that motion pushing you against the door.
“I predicted a similar effect on the Earth as it hurtled in its orbit towards the Sun and strained against space-time.”
An amateur astronomer and lawyer by profession, Vogeler says he conducted experiments earlier this year that confirmed his prediction. Dr. Xiaobing Zhou, a geophysicist at the University of Montana, took measurements for the experiment using highly sensitive devices to measure gravity variances.
According to the measurements, the Earth’s gravity increased each day and decreased each night on Jan. 3, 4, and 5, 2009. Vogeler calculated the variance to be about 151 sextillion pounds in one 24-hour period, creating the wobble effect on the planet.
“Fortunately, the effect probably is not as great as it was in the past,” he says. “Back in the day of continental separation, this would have been a pretty exciting place to live.”
His book, An Amateur Astronomer’s Guide to Gravity, releases the experimental data for the first time to the public this month. The book will be available online through Xlibris.com, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.