Has the LHC destroyed the Earth?

by Gilbert Keith

I am a recent owner of a single-purpose website, so I thought I’d check out how they work. Here’s a smattering of the interesting ones I saw including documentation on how they work:

Do websites need to look exactly the same in every browser? The website says no.


Do Websites Need To Look Exactly the Same in Every Browser?

Do Websites Need To Look Exactly the Same in Every Browser?

2. Is it Christmas? The website says complex javascripting is required.


Is it Christmas?

Is it Christmas?

This one is pretty awesome – Has the LHC Destroyed the Earth?

This web site (and the RSS feed) are in fact dynamically updated.
Here's how it works - 

Every 250 ms, a private satellite fleet measures gravitational
distortion at 24 equally spaced points in LEO. This distortion
map is compared with the one computed by the Iridium constellation
1 hour prior. If they are equal, the system goes back to sleep for
another 250 ms.

If they are not equal, the system enters an alert state and takes
several more confirmation readings at 50 ms intervals. If after 5
seconds (100 readings) the configuration has not returned to within
1% of normal, the system enters the "armed" state; otherwise, it
returns to baseline.

If we have entered the "armed" state, it is likely that an extreme
gravitational distortion event has occurred. The network then localizes
the event with respect to an Earth Centered Earth Fixed map. If the
distortion is centered on the LHC, we enter the "active" state;
otherwise, the event is logged, the system is put to sleep for 5 seconds
(or longer, with a back-off algorithm), and returned to baseline.

If we have entered the "active" state, all satellites attempt to initiate
a downlink to the nearest base station and set a flag. This flag triggers
a stored procedure which updates the web site.

I hope this helps you better understand the functioning of this critical
piece of the world's disaster-alerting infrastructure!

I wish I could do such fast updatery!