The Coimbatore Observatory

A simple method for observing the state of the earth. …

Shan, R. Shanmugasundaram lives in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, Southern India. He is a physics graduate and a ham radio operator.

Shan has conducted consistent observations of deviation of the sun's shadow since 1996. His observatory, located about 11N 77E, is basically a large Sun-dial. A steel ladder fixed to a wall at the top and at the foot.

He tracks the path of the sun's shadow moving over an east facing wall. This simple procedure is one of mankind's most ancient astronomy techniques.

The "normal path" of the sun shadow location on the wall measured at the same time each day forms a fairly straight line. However, after careful observation Shan discovered that the actual sun shadow path often deviates from that line. At times it will move to the right side of the line and at other times to the left.

Additionally, the amount of deviation will be different at different times of the day.

He realised that these deviations were observed when earthquakes occurred within 90 degrees longitude from his observation station. And he began to use that information to post daily EQ forecasts nearly every day for quakes greater than Magnitude 4.0.

Here is a clip for the year 2003:
UPDATED 15th AUGUST 2003 – 09.45 IST



Around 5M quake over

HINDU KUSH REGION (36.62N 71.17E) – ANDAMAN ISLANDS (12.14N 93.52E)


EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA (51.26N 158.87E) – SUMBA REGION (9.95S 119.13E)

BANDA SEA (7.4S 128.4E) – IRIAN JAYA, INDONESIA (1.6S 134.3E)


within 48 to 180 hours from 10 AM IST on 14th August 2003.

Shan had to move with his employment so his efforts came to an abrupt halt a few years ago. He still posts irregularly as and when he can. His explanation is consistent with perceived views on crustal deformation and the like.

Oddly (or perniciously) the same beliefs has drawn insults from his fellow believers, as earth crust motion can not possibly disturb the observatory enough and couldn't do so with any regularity.

But that just goes to show how wrong plate tech is.

As it happens, the times I have watched Shan's predictions, they only went wrong when there was a severe tropical storm in the same regions as he'd posted warnings for quakes at.

Which to my mind, proved we were both onto a winner. I was whilst following his predictions I realised that earthquakes were related to Low pressure systems by 90 degrees.

Then I found it was only 80 degrees -an angle that did not "gel" with me at all.

I lost heart. Then whilst following the NCAR and other US weather sites, I realised that Rat Island was active seismically every time a Low or an High left the States at Cape Hatteras.

And Rat Island is 80 degrees from there. Shortly afterwards Shan had to move. I lost touch and the status quo is that no one has been saved from either of our meagre efforts.

Score all and more for Satan.

Not my fault or his.


5 thoughts on “The Coimbatore Observatory

  1. I've been trying to recall the trail from those days.I noticed the relation to earthquakes after storms whilst investigating Shan's spells but I never realised the relationship with angles just then.I think I noticed that large earthquakes in the region of 6 Mag tend to occur after tropical storms arrive home. In different locations to the storm of course but I never twigged the angular distance, as I was toying with shadow zone distances at the time.I was just following the page at (inset link here) when I noticed the angles involved. I think now the relationship will be some 90 degrees from the midpoint of the distance between Lows and Highs.That's something I put on the back boiler a few weeks ago. I've not had time. Setting up what I was working on last wast pretty exhausting.

  2. While not following to near this extent, I follow eathquakes, right now we seem to be in a low for 4.5 and above but high numbers (from the past few years I have followed) in the states that include m1 and above just before the Haiti quake the numbers we extraordinarily low on both points of observation. But who knows. I have also begin to wonder if solar flares come into play.We did have a m4 west of chicago a week or so back, that was very odd.

  3. You'd be surprised how little is actually known about any of the earth sciences.Even the amazing computer efforts of the weather services is still stuck in the era of between the two world wars. The Swedish school of thought from the 1960's, working on the behaviour of Low pressure cyclones, is only a refinement of the stuff worked out by Admiral FitzRoy and Alexander Buchan a couple of centuries ago.Brilliant stuff I imagine. But ultimately doomed to produce no more than today's 3 to 5 day forecasts. An improvement of 2 or 3 days since the '60's.I gave up on trying to tie in the behaviour of the weather to the moon as this last couple of years the times I depended on were just too difficult for me to divine.It turns out the British Met Office has had a terrible track record so far this year.I kept post to when discussions of the problem cropped up. I warned of tears by bedtime. I never saw the widespread landslides and flooding though.I was expecting earthquakes. My "usual suspects".

  4. What effort would it take for some hippie in California to get hold of a steel ladder and bolt it to the ground and the top of a suitable wall?I can't imagine why no-one has at least given it a go. All you need is some regular sunny weather.I bet you could get the same results if you analysed the orbital adjustment burns from weather satellite maintenance. If someone did that at humungous cost, the data would be devoured greedily.Waste not learn not.

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