ASTROPHYSICS Discover, every day, an analysis of our partner The Conversation. This Tuesday, an astronomer explains the rotary motion of our planet to a child -if-the-earth-stopped-spinningnbspnbsp-24c7269.jpg” alt=”Kids Questions: “What would happen if the Earth stopped spinning?&rdquo ;” />
Motion of the Earth's Rotation — Vinap/Shutterstock (via The Conversation)
- The Earth has continued to spin since its “birth” because it doesn't there's virtually nothing to stop it, according to our partner The Conversation.
- If the Earth stopped rotating but continued to revolve around the Sun, the “day” would last half a year, just like at night.
- This analysis was conducted by Jacco van Loon, an astronomer at Keele University (Newcastle, England).
The Earth has been spinning since it was born, four and a half billion years ago. She has been trained in from the debris created when the Sun formed by the collapse of a huge cloud of matter. The debris that became Earth spun around the Sun, like the water around the bathtub hole when you empty your bath, spinning around themselves.
Our planet continued to revolve around the Sun after its formation and will continue to orbit; turn like this for a long time yet.
The Earth rotates on a regular basis, once every 23 hours and 56 minutes. During this time, the Earth also moves a little further along its orbit around the Sun, which lasts one year. This means that it needs to spin a little more – for four minutes – up to what she does to again facing the Sun. This means that a day on Earth lasts twenty-four hours.
If the Earth keeps spinning, it’s because there is practically nothing to stop it. If you spin a top in the schoolyard, it will eventually stop. This is because as it spins, the air and playground surface exert pressure, causing friction and slowing it down.
The Earth rotates in space, which is practically empty. In space, there isn’t even air to slow down the Earth’s rotation.
However, there is one thing that slows down the Earth's rotation: the Moon. The movement from the side of the Earth facing the Moon is not perfectly balanced; by gravity, no more than that of the side. opposite Earth to the moon. This imbalance creates ocean tides, which cause the oceans to swell on either side of the Earth.
The Moon Affects the Earth's Rotation – Ivan Sorokin/Shutterstock (via The Conversation)
As the Earth rotates, these bulges move around the Earth's surface like a wave, pushing against the Earth's rotation. This slows down the Earth's rotation. This means that the length of a day on Earth increases by one second every 50,000 years.
The only thing that could stop Earth’s rotation would be for another planet to crash into it. Even if this were to happen, it would certainly alter the Earth’s rotation, without stopping it completely.
A day that lasts six months
If the Earth stopped spinning, we wouldn’t suddenly be thrown in space. The gravity would keep us firmly on the ground.
But there would be many changes. If the Earth stopped rotating but continued to rotate revolve around the Sun, the “day” would last half a year, just like the night. It could heat up much more during the day and cool much more during the night. The Earth's climate would be greatly disrupted.
A large difference in temperature between day and night would cause strong winds, which would move warm air sideways. nocturnal, cooler, from the Earth. The wind would also blow from the warm regions around the equator towards the cold polar regions. East and west winds, as well as winds towards the poles, would meet. They could eventually create huge whirlpools the size of entire continents.
On another aspect, it should be known that the core of the Earth is partly constituted by of molten iron. The rotational movement of the Earth transforms this molten iron into a magnet and gives Earth a magnetic field. This protects us from harmful radiation, which comes from particles from the Sun and cosmic rays from outside the solar system.
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Without the magnetic field, this radiation would reach the Earth's surface and make people sick. Some birds use the magnetic field to find their way, so if the Earth did not rotate anymore, they would get lost.
Finally, if the Earth did not rotate, the night sky would still show the same constellations of stars, because we would always be looking into space in the same direction.
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This review has been written by Jacco van Loon, astronomer at the University from Keele (Newcastle, England).
Original article was posted. published on The Conversation site.
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