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No. 84: Nov-Dec 1992

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The Orbiting Mountains Below

Two years ago a Russian scientist suggested that tiny black holes orbiting within the earth might trigger volcanic activity. Now, he has extended the idea to earthquakes.

"A.R. Trofimenko of the Minsk Department of the Astronomical-Geodesical Society of the USSR believes that all cosmic bodies, including the Sun and the Earth, are riddled with "mini" black holes left over from the big bang. Though much smaller than atoms. such black holes would each contain as much mass as a mountain, up to about 2 x 1020 grams.

"Trofimenko originally suggested that energy radiated by these mini black holes could make hot spots that produce volcanic outbursts. Now he has investigated the way in which such objects, by orbiting about the Earth's core, would distort the gravitational field at the surface of our planet."

Each time a mini black hole passes beneath a spot on the surface, there would be a "gravitoimpulse" too short to be detected by current instrumentation but sufficient to trigger earthquakes.

(Anonymous; "Baby Black Holes Blamed for Earthquakes," New Scientist, p. 18, September 19. 1992.)

From Science Frontiers #84, NOV-DEC 1992. � 1992-2000 William R. Corliss