Moon above Tokyo at time of Earthquake

JUPITER and Saturn are currently straddling the earth and the moon was over Tokyo and closer to the earth than usual at about the time of the massive earthquake.  Standing on the moon it would have looked something like this (see image).  Those who take an interest in such issues would say that the gravitational pulls on that part of the Earth would have been considerable at the time of the earthquake. 

From Ken Ring:

“The planets very much affect the earth, indirectly, by having an effect on the Sun. Some planets are very large. If the Sun was a basketball the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn would be the size of grapeftuits, and the Earth would be, on that scale, the size of a peppercorn.

“Jupiter and Saturn cause extra tides on the Sun when they get on either side of the Sun (as with Moon – Earth-Sun when the moon is full) and when these gas giants get on the same side as the Sun, (as with Earth -Moon – Sun when the moon is new). These greater solar tides become sunspot activity and solar flares and can be understood as akin to the increase in tides caused by the Moon when it too gets alongside Earth or opposite Earth.

“At the moment we have Jupiter and Saturn on either side of the Sun and creating a tug of war with Earth in the middle. That started last September.”


[Images via Alan Siddons – thanks Alan.]

UPDATE …  More from Alan Siddons

If the moon were directly overhead in Tokyo, for instance, the two positions would be the same. As it is, you can see that the moon was several degrees south and east at the moment. Here’s a more concrete demonstration, then.

This fish eye depiction is of Toyko’s view-point at the time (click on image for a larger view). I removed the atmosphere so you could see other planets. The spot where all the lines converge is zenith, 90°, so the moon was nearly overhead — at 66° 10’, to be more precise.

33 Responses to Moon above Tokyo at time of Earthquake

  1. Luke March 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Curious about tsunamis in Australia

  2. cementafriend March 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Jennifer mentions Ken Ring see more about him here
    one of the commentators, Vukcevic relates the earthquakes to geomagnetic storms (see his link and has some interesting theories and information about cycles of electomagnetic fields in the sun and on earth including shifts of the poles.
    Vukcevic is an electrical engineer, and you can find some more of his research here

  3. el gordo March 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    When the sun is being tugged in different directions, we get a couple of CMEs only weeks apart.

  4. el gordo March 12, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    That should read … ‘a couple of X flares only weeks apart’. Act in haste, repent in leisure.

  5. jennifer marohasy March 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    Significant Magnitude Earthquakes in 2011 (To date)
    Magnitude 8.9 Near the coast of Honshu, Japan, March 11, 2011
    Magnitude 5.4 Myanmar-China Border Region, March 10, 2011
    Magnitude 6.5 New Britain Region, Papua New Guinea, March 09, 2011
    Magnitude 7.2 Near the Coast of Honshu, Japan, March 09, 2011
    Magnitude 6.6 Solomon Islands, March 07, 2011
    Magnitude 6.5 South Sandwich Islands Region, March 06, 2011
    Magnitude 4.7 Arkansas, USA, February 28, 2011
    Magnitude 6.3 Christchurch, New Zealand February 21, 2011
    Magnitude 4.1 Arkansas, USA, February 18, 2011
    Magnitude 6.6 Off-shore Maule, Chile, February 14, 2011
    Magnitude 6.8 Off-shore Bio-bio, Chile, February 11, 2011
    Magnitude 6.5 Celebes Sea, February 10, 2011
    Magnitude 7.2 South-western Pakistan, January 18, 2011
    Magnitude 7.0 Loyalty Islands, January 13, 2011
    Magnitude 6.6 Vanuatu, January 09, 2011
    Magnitude 4.1 Northern California, January 08, 2011
    Magnitude 7.1 Aracauna, Chile January 02, 2011
    Magnitude 7.0 Santiago del Estero, Argentina, January 01, 2011

    Read more at Suite101: Scientists Fail to Link Pacific Rim Earthquake Clusters

  6. MikeO March 13, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    Shhh keep it quiet the goverment will want to tax moonlight!

  7. Polyaulax March 13, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    “Moon above Tokyo at the time of earthquake.”

    “Pacific plate near Tokyo subducts beneath North American plate ALL the time”

    Ringo needs a shave with Occam’s razor.

  8. Rog Tallbloke March 13, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    “Moon above Tokyo at the time of earthquake.”

    “Pacific plate near Tokyo subducts beneath North American plate ALL the time”

    “Ringo needs a shave with Occam’s razor.”

    The theory is that the Moon could trigger an event close to happening anyway.
    Occam would have been fine with people who find a statistical relationship between seismic events and Moon position. The quiet Sun suddenly getting more active is another situation which has plenty of historical seismic upsurge correlation too.

  9. el gordo March 13, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Talking of tsunamis, they may have discovered the lost city of Atlantis. Going on what Socrates and Plato knew, the researches used satellite imagery and other sophisticated tools to pinpoint Cadiz in southern Spain.;_ylt=A0wNdNhWv3tN6QwBk1ms0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNuMmMxaGQ2BGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTEwMzEyL3VzX3RzdW5hbWlfYXRsYW50aXMEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwM4BHBvcwM1BHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5faGVhZGxpbmVfbGlzdARzbGsDbG9zdGNpdHlvZmF0

  10. James Mayeau March 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    No European quakes on Jennifer’s list.

    I can’t recall a Euro quake ever.

    Doesn’t seem fair.

  11. Cementafriend March 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    James maybe you are young and do not read historical information.
    There have been many earthquakes in Europe. Here is one 100,000 -200,000 lives lost is not nothing. There have been more recent ones in Italy. There have been lots of severe earthquakes in Turkey -one in 1999 killed 17,000 see here Greece and Cyprus have had a history of earthquakes.

    One of the problems with AGW believers (natural climate change deniers) is that they do not want to look back at history especially if it is older than 25 years.

  12. cementafriend March 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    I should have added here is a site which gives the latest European earthquakes You will see that there have been a number in Greece and Turkey over 5 on the Richter scale this year.

  13. el gordo March 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    The Bryant and Nott abstract above, which Luke kindly found, is a very interesting read on local tsunami. There have only been a couple of big ones in the past thousand years, but …

  14. el gordo March 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    …don’t build a nuclear power plant at Jervis Bay.

  15. James Mayeau March 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    It’s not like I was hoping for a quake in Europe. It’s just an observation.

    Now that I think about it, something knocked down the Parthenon, Colossus of Rhodes, Lighthouse of Antioch.

    The Euro’s in the meanwhile have elected plenty of socialists to make up the deficit of destruction where mother nature left off.

  16. el gordo March 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Continuing the historical link and staying in our region, how useful are aboriginal and Maori legends of tsunami?

  17. wes george March 13, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    Very interesting, thanks for pointing this correlation out, Jen.

    But it could be misleading to some people if they think of extra-planetary forces as “causing” these earthquakes. Of course, that’s not the story at all. Tectonic balances were posed just so, ready to slip anyway and lunar and other gravitational values in the solar system pushed (or pulled) the date every so slightly upon the geological scale. Maybe by days, maybe by decades. We don’t know.

    Nevertheless, surely it has some application to earthquake forecasting or emergency alertness levels, especially at nuclear power plants built sadly on the subduction zone between two very active tectonic plates…

    Well, I suppose it’s not the first time human error has vastly amplified a natural disaster. Anyone remember the Queensland floods of 2011? Or the fact that Victoria opted out of catchment storage expansion and built a multi-billion dollar desal plant for Melbourne instead?

    The moral of the story is that public policy regarding energy and the environment can be catastrophic beyond imagination if we don’t get it right.

  18. Polyaulax March 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Who knows,Rog? The fact that the Pacific plate is moving at nearly 10cm/annum under the NA plate there has nothing to say?

    Maybe the Moon’s influence was working to counter other inputs,and was counteracting plate loading? If the Moon triggers the odd quake,it will just as well damp a few others.

    Maybe the moon only influenced a subset of the aftershocks? Or just one foreshock? There’ve been 341 earthquakes in that area in the last week. Which ones were mediated by the moon?

    It could have been the anomalously wet February on the east coast that weighed down the island ,while persistent onshore winds shifted a greater weight of water over the subduction zone.

    Maybe it was just cumulative sea-level rise,while solar,geomagnetic and lunar influences cancelled each other out?

    There are so many mechanisms,but so few opportunities for Mr Ring.

  19. jennifer March 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm #


    What do you know about atmospheric tides? What do you know about oceanic tides? What causes them? Do they vary in magnitude and intensity? What is their potential affect on climate?

  20. Louis Hissink March 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    el gordo,

    Aboriginal stories of past tsunamis and other “catastrophic” geological events should be taken seriously but the main problem I found in those areas pertinent to my scientific expertise lies in correlating those aboriginal stories with the associated geology. And so too with the Maori’s accounts, where they insist that the Moas were killed en masse by fire from the sky, for example, a period that correlates well with Bryant’s impact event of the 15th century AD.

    In terms of the Aboriginal stories, particularly those I have personal experience with, there is a stark contradiction between what we presume to be geological fact, and Aboriginal story. Without going into detail, some Aboriginal stories describe geological events that according to the mainstream paradisgm, are impossible since they described events before human life appeared on the earth.

    As the principal geological paradigm is that of Lyellian Uniformism, presently being challenged by a more catastrophic oriented geologial perspective, our understanding of geochronology is framed in terms of Lyell’s ideas. The problem is that Lyell’s ideas were initially driven by political considerations during the early 19th century in England, and what Lyell actually did rhetorically was to shift the time of Creation (according to Ussher) from 4004 BC to a far more distant time in the past. What Lyell did not realise at the time was that shifting a fiction from one point in time to another does give that fiction newly minted credence, and nor does its shift to the past make any subsequent deduction more scientific than those deduced from its previous time at 4004 BC.

    It’s strange that atheists and other disbelievers have no problem believing in a Big Bang theory, (the idea that the universe was created ex nihilo 13 billion years ago), and then proceed to deduce from that assumption the modern day paradigms of Darwinian evolution and geology, (as well as similar paradigms in astrophysics etc).

    The problem is that any scientific deduction from an initial fiction is also itself a fiction.

    So what about the Aboriginal stories? We need to also include their accounts of the terrifying behaviour of the Aurora Australis that, according to archaeologist Mungo Jupp, was associated with a significant Aboriginal extinction event in SE Australia preceding the LIA, to put a rough starting date on it.

    But in terms of the ruling scientific paradigm, no such catastrophic events ever occurred during human memory, whether Aboriginal, Maori or European, and this “non catastrophic” viewpoint is the starting point for the CAGW belief.

    The other “problem” is determing the validity of the present understanding of the geological time scale. In one sense it is fairly accurate in terms of the sequence of events, otherwise known as the principle of superposition. In another sense it seems inaccurate in so far that some Aboriginal stories describe rocks and geological events we have dated to have occurred 1100 million years ago, (from radiometric dating, another scientific quagmire for the unwary).

    This makes the present CAGW movement so interesting, for that movement shows how a firm belief in something can cause scientific evidence to be marshalled in its support – I find eerie parallels between the rhetorical battle Lyell with the English Whigs and the Tories, to that between the CAGW proponents and the climate sceptics. Both Lyell and the CAGW used rhetoric as the principal means of debate, Lyell using his skills as a lawyer and the CAGW camp with computer modelling. Their opponents, then as now, relied on empirical evidence to support their case.

    Aboriginal stories of the past fall into the category of primary evidence, but are usually dismissed by modern savants as primitive interpretations of ordinary natural phenomena. Those modern savants also formed the object of Keith Windschuttle’s acute analysis of Aboriginal History as documented in his various book including “The Fabrication of Aboriginal History” etc.

    This urge to rewrite the past in terms of existing perceptions, usually for political purposes, has a profound cultural effect on the nature of science and our understanding of it. It has resulted in the present corruption of climate science, and caused the stalling of geoscience in the cul de sac of plate tectonics as another, but if we are to make sense of the present, then we should take another long hard look at the oral traditions of the Aboriginals and Maori’s in order to understand the recent past.

  21. Doug Proctor March 14, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    66*10′ is not “overhead”.

    This sort of correlation means anything you want can be correlated. Not to say extra-terrestrial forces don’t trigger earth movements handing on the cusp. Just to say that hanging overhead and hanging 2/3rds of the way to the top are not the same thing.

  22. el gordo March 14, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    Thanks Louis, for your insight, it’s surprising the msm hasn’t beaten this story up.

    ‘Based upon the Australian east coast deposits, it is 95% probable that a cosmogenically induced mega-tsunami event
    occurred between AD 1200 and 1730. This span also incorporates the age of major New Zealand tsunami deposits (Goff & McFadgen 2002.’

    Doing a little further reading I would say that this cosmological impact happened around 1300 AD.

  23. John Sayers March 14, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    This site records all the earthquakes as they happen.

  24. James Mayeau March 14, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    Doing a little further reading I would say that this cosmological impact happened around 1300 AD.

    The beginning of the Little Ice Age.


    My friend Russ Steele has an alternate correlation with solar storms posted.

    Is Solar activity to blame for Japan’s massive earthquake?

    Just one other thing I want to say.

    When the Moon is in the seventh house;
    and Jupiter is aligned with Mars;
    Then peace will rule the planets;
    and love will rule the stars.
    It is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius; the Age of Aquarius;
    The Age of Aquarius. A – Q – A – R – I – U – S

    Sorry about that. That was wrong of me to do.

  25. jennifer March 14, 2011 at 9:12 am #


    The point you make is accepted… nearly overhead would be more accurate. Click on the fourth image of the fish eye view.

    Ken Ring and others have been predicting an increase in likelihood of earthquakes from September 2010 through to May 2011 because of the arrangement of Saturn and Jupiter with events at particular places on fault lines when the moon is overhead…

    They have a causal mechanism… gravitational pull.


    At the moment it is Jupiter aligned with Saturn…

  26. el gordo March 14, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    I may be wrong about a comet strike in AD 1300, how to explain the drop in sea level?

  27. James Mayeau March 14, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    el gordo

    That’s when the Easter Island culture was decimated. A little bit of possible coroberation.


    But it’s hard to rhyme with Saturn.

  28. el gordo March 14, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Suppose a comet came down in the South Pacific around AD 1300, during the southern hemisphere winter. A huge tsunami heads towards Antarctica, where it freezes solid, hence the drop in sea level.

    As summer comes around the ocean levels rise, but unfortunately the waters are cold and the fish are gone. Lean times.

  29. Polyaulax March 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    How is Ken Ring going to isolate the signal of his mechanism [external gravitational from distant planets] from the signals of other mechanisms [Earth’s dominant interior processes,minor Lunar gravitational influence]? How is he going to define ‘alignment’? Is it going to be as fudgy as you’d expect? ‘Alignment’ has a strict meaning,and real planetary alignment is vanishingly improbable,as opposed to superficial visual groupings. The gravitational effect of the planets is vanishingly small compared with the Moon and Sun,as gravitational strength depends on the square of the distance. So Jupiter despite its vast mass,has only 1% of the pull of the Moon,and barely more than the pull of Venus. Saturn has only 0.07% the Moons gravitational pull.

    There are so many earthquakes each year that it would be unusual if many did not coincide with any favored phase of the Moon,or some Solar event. This earthquake swarm started on the 9th,when the Moon was nowhere near as close to the Earth as it will be at perigree on the 19th. In fact,it is was only three days after apogee. So,we have a situation where the Moon was NOT overhead and was tens of thousands of kilometres away from its closest approach on the 19th. And with 12 or 13 perigrees each year,we have plenty of opportunities for correlations with seismic and volcanic events.

  30. paul walter March 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Does it mean we’ll get our own earthquake, if we get a full moon over Australia?
    Who knows.
    An interesting theory and will wait to see what the scientists and mathematicians come up as to possibilities.
    Far be it from me to be the pope that exiled Galileo…

  31. el gordo March 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    In the aftermath of the AD 1300 event the sea level dropped 78-80 cm according to Nunn.

    From the Bryant paper: ‘A quasi-cyclic pattern is evident in the comet sighting records that can be linked to the dominance of the Taurid complex in the inner solar system. This complex formed from the breakdown of a giant comet…’

    The mega-tsunami ‘age was obtained from pipi (Paphies australis) located about 500 m inland and 30 m above sea level at Mason Bay on the west coast of Stewart Island yielded a corrected age of AD 1301 +36.’

    I feel confident the impact was between 1301 and 1304, based on historical records, because after that time a great famine began throughout Europe which continued unabated for at least a decade.

    Severe winters became the norm, but the wet summers were the main problem because of harvest failure.


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