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Astronomer: No evidence linking earthquake and astronomical phenomena
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An astronomer derided a wide-spread report implying that there might be a possible link between the Wenchuan Earthquake and astronomical phenomena.

Experts from the Guangdong Astronomy Association have suggested that the Wenchuan quake might be related to specified astronomical factors on May 30 (Click for the previous story). According to the association, the relevant authorities need to pay attention to two powerful astronomical tides in early June.

But Wang Sichao, a researcher of the Purple Mountain Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Xinhua News Agency that there has been no evidence to prove there's a link. He warned that the general public should not be misled by this kind of information.

Previously, some astronomers suggested that Wenchuan was hit by the quake on the first quarter, a point at which the sun, the earth, and the moon formed a right-angled triangle. The experts said that on this particular day, the lunisolar tidal force exerted a particularly strong influence on the earth.

Wang said even though the moon's movement can cause the tides on Earth, the coincidence in the Wenchuan quake can't be used as proof.

He took 16 major earthquakes in the world during the last 20 years for example, only 5 occurred around the first quarter or last quarter.

Wang Sichao added that the earthquake is the result of the movement of the Earth's crust. He said so far there has been no proof to support the possible link between earthquakes and astronomical phenomena. So the information circulating on the Internet lacks facts and scientific evidence.

(China.org.cn, by Zhang Rui June 1, 2008)

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