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What if the Earth stopped spinning


Original Post
IcePick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 100

Driving my boys to school this morning we were able to clearly look at the sun through the thick haze, I say "Wow that's really cool looking". My younger son (15) says "it's so round" The conversation shifted to gravity somehow and I asked if gravity is less at the poles because it's not spinning as fast, My older son (17) speaks up and says NO because the Earth is tilted, I say "what if the Earth just stopped spinning" Instantly my older one says "We would YEET" we all laugh, not sure what that means but I guess it means we would rocket, My younger son says "Dad do you know how fast the Earth is spinning" I say No" He says "300 miles an hour, If the Earth stopped spinning we would all die because there would be no magnetic field and no atmosphere" and then says "but that will never happen" I say

"Never say Never"

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
IcePick wrote:

Driving my boys to school this morning we were able to clearly look at the sun through the thick haze, I say "Wow that's really cool looking". My younger son (15) says "it's so round" The conversation shifted to gravity somehow and I asked if gravity is less at the poles because it's not spinning as fast, My older son (17) speaks up and says NO because the Earth is tilted, I say "what if the Earth just stopped spinning" Instantly my older one says "We would YEET" we all laugh, not sure what that means but I guess it means we would rocket, My younger son says "Dad do you know how fast the Earth is spinning" I say No" He says "300 miles an hour, If the Earth stopped spinning we would all die because there would be no magnetic field and no atmosphere" and then says "but that will never happen" I say

"Never say Never"

Tell your son the earth spins the fastest at the Equator, and that it's more like 1000 miles per hour. He might be impressed that his dad is smarter than him. :)

PRRose · · Boulder · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 0

The Earth has gravity because it has mass, not because it is spinning.

MojoMonkey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 66
IcePick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 100
PRRose wrote:

The Earth has gravity because it has mass, not because it is spinning.

? Can you elaborate how mass causes gravity

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 746
IcePick wrote:

? Can you elaborate how mass causes gravity


Anything with mass has gravity. Earth pulls on you, you pull on Earth. Your phone pulls on your keys, and your keys pull on your phone. And so on.

https://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question30.html

Also, gravity is MORE at the poles, not less (minimally, mind you), because of the centrifugal force being higher at the equator.

https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/141856/why-is-earths-gravity-stronger-at-the-poles


And, as far as the spinning goes...

https://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/ask/q1168.html


My googling skills are superb.

Chris Fedorczak · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

As others have said, I don't believe gravity has anything to do with the spinning of the earth or it's tilt or atmosphere or magnetic field. It's simply a matter of mass and distance between two obejects (humans+earth, moon+earth, earth+sun, etc.), right? (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

From google: 

F = Gm1m2/r2, where F is the force due to gravity, between two masses (m1 and m2), which are a distance r apart; G is the gravitational constant.

I think if the Earth suddenly stopped spinning (like a light switch), everything not tied down would literally fly 1,000 miles per hour east. If it slowly spun down and stopped the sun would stop rising and setting every 24 hours, instead rising and setting per our annual orbit around the sun. Unless we became tidally locked to the sun, in which cause one side of the earth would be dark and the other side sunny forever.

Interesting thought experiment.

Chris Blatchley · · Somerville, MA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0
Gabe B. · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 86

If we define the earth as the earth + everything directly connected to the surface, the sudden stop of the earth would cause everything else to keep traveling at the original velocity. So I think this would mean everything and everyone would rip to shreds/slam into mountains. Anyone have any thoughts?

La MoMoface · · Arvada, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 60

Pretty recently I read an interesting novel based on that premise - the earth was slowly loosing its spin. Quick, entertaining read.


https://www.amazon.com/Age-Miracles-Karen-Thompson-Walker/dp/0812982940

Jeremy B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0
Gabe B. wrote:

If we define the earth as the earth + everything directly connected to the surface, the sudden stop of the earth would cause everything else to keep traveling at the original velocity. So I think this would mean everything and everyone would rip to shreds/slam into mountains. Anyone have any thoughts?

Consider what would happen with the atmosphere...

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 746
Gabe B. wrote:

If we define the earth as the earth + everything directly connected to the surface, the sudden stop of the earth would cause everything else to keep traveling at the original velocity. So I think this would mean everything and everyone would rip to shreds/slam into mountains. Anyone have any thoughts?

From the link I posted earlier:

"If the Earth stopped spinning suddenly, the atmosphere would still be in motion with the Earth's original 1100 mile per hour rotation speed at the equator. All of the land masses would be scoured clean of anything not attached to bedrock. This means rocks, topsoil, trees, buildings, your pet dog, and so on, would be swept away into the atmosphere.

If the process happened gradually over billions of years, the situation would be very different, and it is this possibility which is the most likely as the constant torquing of the Sun and Moon upon the Earth finally reaches it's conclusion. If the rotation period slowed to 1 rotation every 365 days a condition called 'sun synchronous', every spot in the Earth would have permanent daytime or nighttime all year long. This is similar to the situation on the Moon where for 2 weeks the front-side is illuminated by the Sun, and for 2 weeks the back side is illuminated. This situation for the Earth is not the condition of 'stopped' rotation, but it is as close as the laws of physics will let the Earth get."


Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 877

Density is another factor in gravity.  Where the earth is more dense, gravity is greater.  Gravity is not uniform around the globe. 

The electromagnetic field is produced by rotation of the earth's molten iron core.  If this process stops and the magnetic field goes away, the solar wind would have devastating effects on earth.  

IcePick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 100

This is probably why I'm not a physics professor or a physics anything for that matter,  

You learn something new every day right, Thank you all for the science lessons.

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,080

,'Flat-earthers" would say "Nothing the earth isn't spinning"................ ;)

Apparently it's a thing.......again.

https://theflatearthsociety.org/home/


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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