At sea level and standing on the equator, how fast is the earth's surface moving due to planetary rotation?
#68185. Asked by brownknows. (Jul 13 06 11:05 AM)
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.)
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