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Why we can’t feel how fast the Earth spins?

Have you ever wonder why we don’t feel the natural movement of the Earth? There is a scientific explanation.

Believe it or not, right now we are moving at breakneck speed due to the movements of the Earth. Not only do we have the translational displacement around the Sun, but also the planet rotates on its own axis. The combination of both movements makes us travel at really high speeds, so why don’t we feel that the Earth is spinning?

The Earth rotates on its own axis once every 24 hours and although the most immediate thought is that this speed is the same in all regions of the planet, the truth is that it is not so. Because of its geoid shape, the speed of rotation is not the same at the equator as it is at the poles; at the equator, it is much higher, approximately 1,600 kilometers per hour. That is too fast considering that the speeds we are used to on land are less than 300 kilometers per hour.

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Why don’t we feel the rotational motion?

With all the above data it is clear that right now we are moving at a dizzying speed, but it happens that we do not realize it, why? It is very simple. Everything, absolutely everything, including ourselves, is moving at the same constant speed. The atmosphere, the huge oceans, the dry land, and everything on the planet is moving along with it.

We would only realize that we are spinning at a high speed if the Earth suddenly stopped spinning. Only then would we realize that all this time we were spinning without ceasing, because we would feel something similar to what we feel when a car at high-speed brakes suddenly.

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Perhaps it sounds very simple, but to give us a clearer idea, we must think of the rotation of the Earth as being like traveling in an airplane or a car.

via GIPHY

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As long as the trip goes smoothly with the plane reaching a constant speed without turbulence, we won’t feel the movement, since everything inside the plane moves at the same speed as we do. The coffee we serve ourselves, the people, and even the air itself inside travel at the same speed. When these constant speeds are reached, the only thing that tells us that we are still moving is the outside, but if it were not for that, we could almost swear that we are not moving.

A contrary case would happen if the airplane or the car does not reach a constant speed, if they accelerate and decelerate, then we would be aware that we are in motion. As it turns out, the Earth does not have acceleration and deceleration, it rotates at a constant speed and therefore, we can exist on it as if nothing is happening, although we know that in reality, a lot is happening right now.

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Story originally published in Ecoosfera

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