Can Earth Change Speeds?
Is it possible for the earth to change speeds while spinning on
Yes, actually the earth does very gradually change quite
a few of its orbital and rotational parameters - because
of various conservation laws of physics, however, it
cannot do this all on its own - it needs help. The help
it gets is from the moon and from the other planets,
and also from tidal interactions with the sun. The
earth has long been exchanging angular momentum with
the moon - you might be interested in looking up articles
on the moon-earth relationship - the length of the day
on earth used to be much shorter and the moon much
closer (I think that is right anyway).
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012