Mw 6.9 South of Fiji Islands
updated 16 August 2021

On 24 February 2017 a strong earthquake occurred South of Fiji Islands at a depth of 410 km. The seismic event occurred at 17:28:44 UTC and had an estimated moment magnitude (Mw) 6.9.

There was an interesting convergence of planetary alignments on 24-25 February 2017. From these alignments we can deduce that Mars and Venus were closely aligned with Jupiter and Uranus. While Mars moved 'through' the Jupiter-Uranus line, aligning with both planets on the 25th, Venus moved 'with' the Jupiter-Uranus line for days. It is depicted by the long horizontal red line. Venus came very close to the Jupiter-Uranus line, but did not align with them. The closest approach was on 16-17 February when Venus was at 0°03'41". Earth was also close to the Jupiter-Uranus line, resulting in critical lunar geometry on the 23rd (index 16), as the Moon made 90° angles to both outer planets within a few hours. Seismic activity could easily have reached mid 7 to 8 magnitude, depending on the amount of tectonic stress. The Jupiter-Uranus opposition resulted in major seismic activity in July, after an absence of magnitude 7 earthquakes for 175 days.

Earth:   Moon-Uranus      2017-02-23,  1:13:23   90°00'00"
Earth:   Moon-Jupiter     2017-02-23,  2:52:17   90°00'00"

Mars-Venus-Jupiter        2017-02-24,  4:24:42  201°35'52"
Venus-Mars-Uranus         2017-02-24, 11:57:54   21°50'43"
Jupiter-Mars-Uranus       2017-02-25, 10:27:31   21°49'02"
SSGI chart
SSGI depiction of planetary (PG) and lunar (LG) geometry


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