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Date: 1993 - 1999


Question:
What causes the Earth to rotate? What would likely happen if it stopped rotating? Just curious.


Replies:
Something called "conservation of angular momentum". The earth has always been rotating, and that means it's going to keep on rotating forever. This is one of those fundamental laws of physics (deriving from Newton's laws) that nobody believes can ever be broken. However, the earth's rotation can chang e slightly over time due to the tidal interactions with the moon and sun.

To stop the earth's rotation would require an enormous amount of energy, and whatever did it would probably have the same destructive power as the biggest asteroid that could ever possibly hit us. In other words, life would be destroyed.

Not to mention that if the earth under our feet quit moving, we would continue along at our current 17 miles/minute or 1000 miles/hour - can you imagine suddenly being launched out of your chair at 1000 miles/hour?

A Smith



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