Today's perspective on how the Earth rotates and yet we do not fly off even though it "spins fast" | TODAYSDATE.COM

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If the Earth spins so fast why don't we all fly off?

May 31, 2016 - - written by Kenneth Wegorowski

Science tells us that the Earth spins at a velocity of 1,039 miles per hour at the Equator*.

If a man or woman or animal is standing at the Equator they are moving 1,039 mph in relation to a point directly above them but we don't feel that speed because our atmosphere moves along at the same speed but if we are going that fast, why don't we fly off?

When we think about how if we stand on a merry-go-round at the amusement park how it's centrifugal force as it spins tries to throw us off of it, we might wonder why doesn't the Earth do that since we are going so fast. The reason is that a merry-go-round is rotating more times per hour than the Earth is.

So in comparing the two, Earth rotates slowly, the merry-go-round rotates much much much faster, and it's this rotation speed that is the big factor. We cannot fly off the Earth because the rotation of the Earth is terribly slow, so slow it makes the speed of the turtle against the hare to be faster than a rocket.

Let's look at the math. Earth spins at a rotation of 1 per 24 hours. That is a rotation speed of 1/24th per hour.

The merry-go-round spins at speed of about 3.8 seconds for one rotation.* So in one 24 hour period of a merry-go-round spinning it makes 22,736 rotations! The centrifugal force exerted is massive yet we don't see kids flying off of it as they are able to hold onto a horse and sit with only a little pull outward. That's 947 times per hour!

So let's compare our Earth rotation speed again to this amusement park ride.

In one day the Earth rotates one time.
In one day the merry-go-round rotates 22,736 times.
Earth spins at rate of .0007 RPM
Merry-go-round spins at rate of 15.8 RPM

A record player spins faster! They play records at 78 RPM, 45 RPM, or 33 RPM.

There simply is no force to speak of pushing us outward as the Earth rotates, it is going so slow. You can test this yourself, stand in one spot in an open space like a back yard, and rotate 1 time in 24 hours with your arms outstretched. Boredom and fatigue would kick in within minutes before completing this experiment and you would rotate probably no more than 15 degrees (1/24th of an entire 360 degree circle) if you actually stood there for one full hour rotating as fast as the Earth rotates. There is no force outward. Your arms are not being "thrown" outward at all. That is the force we have with the Earth spinning.

Now stand there and rotate as fast as a merry-go-round, basically just rotating at a normal speed you can handle with your arms outstretched, notice how your arms tend to want to go outward by themselves and you can hold them up easier, almost effortlessly! This is due to centrifugal force. The incredibly rapid spinning of 22,736 RPD (rotations per day) is why.

So you have just proven with your own body why we don't fly off the Earth, we are spinning too slow. It's he combination of gravity that holds us here, and the total lack of any real centrifugal force throwing us off.


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