Chandler Wobble

Is the entire planet wobbling? Or only the poles? That is, if someone planted a flag exactly at the north pole, would he have to keep moving it to follow the pole?

This is of course in reference to How come the Chandler wobble hasn’t dampened out?

My understanding is that as the whole planet wobbles a little, the poles do too. Thus, the location of the “pole” is somewhere within a circular area, and always moving a little over time.

You’d have to move the flags each day.

Eventually, (about 14 months) the flag comes back to its starting place, but not exactly. The pole position is influenced by the seasonal forcing (12 month period) and the resultant wobble is a beat between the two wobbles.

And, there is a general drift of the pole over time, in the general direction of the center of the old northern ice sheets, leading geophysicists to speculate that the drift is because of the rebound of the earth after the ice sheets melted

All I got to say is that if Cecil thinks I’m payin for the extra gas to haul a hundred pounds of lead shot to Alaska to test his cockamamie theory, he’s nuts. I say HE pays for the shot and has it waiting there for us. Speaking of shots I think he should pay for the party too. (Glenn Levitt, unca, lots of it) Better yet maybe he can get a govt. grant. any way wouldn’t it be better to take this weight to the equater and the extra leverage? Anddistributed out along it as in wheel balancing?

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Doing some completely arbitrary calculations on Cecil’s joking proposal.

Assume, say 250 mil of “teeming millions” carries 45.5kg of lead up to Alaska.
= 11,375,000 metric tonnes

Oh, and let’s give them an average body mass of 50kg.
= 12,500,000 metric tonnes

Taken together those are 23,875,000 metric tonnes which is only .0000000000004% of the earth’s mass.

Do you think this would be detectable, much less flip anything around?

This week’s SD column question coming from our own R.M. Mentock.

One small correction:

Cecil wrote:

That wouldn’t increase our angular momentum but our angular speed. Angular momentum is conserved.

Congrats, RM, on having Cecil take your question to a column. I put questions to him, the most I get is a sarcastic sneer.

But I have to say: I have read a lot of the works of Raymond Chandler, and I don’t unnerstand what the fuss is all about. I think he’s a fine, precise writer, I don’t see any wobble in his writing at all.

The Discovery channel earlier this week ran a show If We Had No Moon (see for when it is showing again). One of the things they said in it is that the Moon makes the Earth more stable and the poles would wander around more if it was not there. (Their conclusion was that the polar caps would not exist and the predominate life forms on Earth would be aquatic.)

So, does the Moon reduce the wobble?

“Drink your coffee! Remember, there are people sleeping in China.”

Dennis Matheson —
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb —