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# At sea level and standing on the equator, how fast is the earth's surface moving due to planetary rotation?

Question #68185. Asked by brownknows. (Jul 13 06 11:05 AM)

Brainyblonde

So, how far you travel during one Earth rotation depends on the cosine of the Latitude of your location.

The actual formula is: distance in km = 360 * (111.41288 * cos(latitude) - 0.09350 * cos(3 * latitude) + 0.00012 * cos(5 * latitude))

To make things simple, we'll calculate the speed at the Equator
speed = distance/time = circumference/time = 40,075 km / 23 hrs 56 min 4.0909 seconds = 1,674 km/hr (1,040 mi/hr)

Yes - this is faster than the speed of sound! which is called Mach 1 and is 1,192 km/hr (740 mi/hr). (It's a good thing our atmosphere rotates with us!)

(This is also the reason that historical astronomers though the Earth had to be stationary - they thought the winds would blow us all off the planet.)
http://calgary.rasc.ca/howfast.htm

 Jul 13 06, 11:22 AM

### Other Similar Questions & Answers

 The Sun's period of rotation at the surface varies from approximately 25 days at the equator to 36 days at the poles. Deep down, below the convective zone, everything appears to rotate with a period of 27 days. Do you know why?

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