Saturday, March 12, 2011

No---please do not blame the sun...............

        As Japan is reeling under the terrible impact of the deadly earthquake and tsunami, a debate has started among international space experts whether it could have been possibly triggered by heightened solar activity?

        No says space expert Dibyandu Nandi who recently brought glory to India by showing Nasa the way. In an e mail interview to ``Beyond Moon and Mars (BMM),'' Nandi who also happens to be my good friend explained that ``there is no established connection between solar storms and tsunami.''  Last week he led a breakthrough research on understanding the sun's activity.

       Nandi said that ``although there was a high solar flare on March 9,2011, which hurled charged particles and magnetic fields towards the earth, it is unlikely that this solar flare had any role in the recent tsunami. According to him ``tsunamis are created by the sudden movement of tectonic plates in the ocean floor typically triggered by an earthquake.''

       ``The effects of solar flares are limited to the earth's upper atmosphere, except where they can also affect power grids and oil pipelines. However, I am not aware of any mechanism by which these storms can cause sudden changes in the earth's tectonic plates deep inside,'' he said.

       This interview has been published in The Times of India.

       Nandi has debunked the theory put forth by some Western scientists that the devastation could have had its source in the increased solar activity, To cite an example, Kevin Martin has been quoted in a website called Weather saying: ``Solar weather has had by interest for years. Many past quakes have been connected with the solar flare events.  I am pretty certain these have connections. Japan's activity may not have happened if it was not for the solar flare activity,'' he has been quoted as saying.

       Echoing the opinion of Nandi, is of course none other than my good friend Piyush Pandey, director of Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai  who remarked: ``There is no known mechanism by which enhanced solar activity can trigger an earthquake resulting in a tsunami,'' he said.

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