Did the Earth move for you?

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Aug. 2 2006 8:28 PM

Did the Earth move for you?

It just did for me.

We just had a magnitude 4.4 earthquake here in NorCal, with the epicenter less than 5 miles from here. For those of you on solid ground, a 4.4 is just under the borderline of being scary. Things shake, but it's unlikely anything will get knocked over. Nothing did here.

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Mrs. BA and the Bad Dog were at the park, with the Little Astronomer about to go when it hit. I thought LA was jumping in the next room! After about a second it was clear what was happening. It was very short, just a rumble, then the peak shaking for less than a second, then it was over. Heart thumping, I ran into the living room, and LA was saying "earthquake!" (it was her first that she felt; she slept through the other sizable ones we had a few years ago).

Everyone here is OK, but man, there's my cardio for the day!

Update (about 20 minutes after the quake): Mrs. BA came home and said that outside at the park (like 200 meters away) they could feel it much better. She said it was like a wave coming underneath her, and she could feel herself lifted up a little bit! Wow, that must've been cool. The Bad Dog ran around and barked, too, so at least we all got to enjoy it.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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