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[science ..kinda] What would happen..

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cchasem    0

Okay, assuming all current laws of physics still apply, what would happen if the earth suddenly stopped rotating? (it would keep orbiting the sun, just the rotation that gives us day and night instantly stops) My high school physics teacher and i talked about this sometimes, im just wondering what you guys think would happen :)

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cchasem    0

Would we notice any immediate effects.. like.. being thrown from the face of the planet? the rotation instantly stops. Would we simply not notice the sudden deceleration until we realize daytime is lasting too long?

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Axon    1

Well, it would be sunny for half a year, and night for half a year.

Plants would only grow during the sunny 6 months. It would have a huge impact on weather and climate,

and well, too many ideas to list...

-Ax

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Scudworth    0
Plants would only grow during the sunny 6 months. It would have a huge impact on weather and climate,

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but if the rotation just plain stopped, I don't think plants would be able to adapt to a half year of darkness, they would probably all die.

if the earth stopped rotating, earth-gravity would go bye-bye too, wouldnt it?

Would we notice any immediate effects.. like.. being thrown from the face of the planet? the rotation instantly stops. Would we simply not notice the sudden deceleration until we realize daytime is lasting too long?

I suppose that would depend on if the world lost its momentum and slowed to a stop, versus the 'brakes' being slammed on and bringing it to a dead stop

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jiggling_john    0
if the earth stopped rotating, earth-gravity would go bye-bye too, wouldnt it?

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yeah, that was my first thought. I thought it was the rotation that created the gravity... The seas would float off! :o

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Fred Derf    217

Matter attracting matter creates gravity. I don't think rotation has anything to do with it. Sure, hollow spaceships could use rotation to create artificial gravity through centrifical forces but that doesn't apply to our blue-green marble.

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Daviesbad04    0

We'd go into what the North and South poles experience.

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MonkeyClaw    9

good question but wouldnt it instead be that only one side of the planet is always sunny and one side is always dark kinda like the sister planet to romulus in st nemesis? and yea gravity wouldnt be affected cause gravity is associated with mass, because gravity bends space and time and therefore anything near something of mass is drawn to it accordingly to the amount of mass. so basically everything has its own gravitational field, but they are usually so weak that most things are not affected by them.

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cchasem    0

In this hypothetical situation, there is no "slowing down", it is instantaneous. The rotation doesnt have anything to do with gravity, but I think a sudden halt would send us flying, or if not that, it would certainly make the oceans do something absolutely crazy..

The earth is rotating at 1070mph / 1670kph at the equator..Now we dont feel that right now, but it it suddenly stopped, would we not continue to move forward/outward? Wouldnt it seem like super fast winds were blowing us away? (since the atmosphere would continue to rotate for a while, at least)

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MrA    6

I'd say we're screwed. Isn't the earth's magnetic field caused by the rotation of our planet? If we were to stop spinning, the magnetic field would cease and we'd be flooded by the sun's radiation, thereby killing all life.

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Fred Derf    217
I'd say we're screwed.  Isn't the earth's magnetic field caused by the rotation of our planet?  If we were to stop spinning, the magnetic field would cease and we'd be flooded by the sun's radiation, thereby killing all life.

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For one reason or another we'd be screwed. I'm not sure what would get to us first. Perhaps just the act of stopping itself. I'd hate to keep moving at 1670kph while the earth stopped. Splat.

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cchasem    0

So what you all are saying is that the immediate effects of the sudden and instantaneous halt of the earth's rotation would be minimal, and the problem would just be having really, really long days/nights?

When my teacher and i discussed it, we were more focused on what would happen in the few seconds after the stop.

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Axon    1

As far as I can imagine, the rotation of the earth would act against gravity, according to the laws of centrifical force.

-Ax

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vincent    154
So what you all are saying is that the immediate effects of the sudden and instantaneous halt of the earth's rotation would be minimal, and the problem would just be having really, really long days/nights? 

When my teacher and i discussed it, we were more focused on what would happen in the few seconds after the stop.

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Well for one, the winds on our planet going East and West would cease, they more than likely would travel north and south, our moon in the next few million years is gonna be further from our planet that what it is now, and when that happens our rotation is gonna slow down.

Earth is rotating at a speed of about 1100 miles per hour. If our planet suddenly stopped rotating, the atmosphere would still be in motion at that speed. The atmosphere would be moving so fast it would literally sweep the land masses clear of anything not anchored to bedrock, this would mean rocks, soil, trees, buildings, people and animals. All would be swept up into the atmosphere.

If the Earth's rotation slowed down gradually over millions of years, and this is the most likely scenario, it would be a very different story. If the Earth slowed down to one rotation every year, called synchronous rotation, every area on Earth would be in either sunlight or darkness for one year. This would be similar to what the Moon goes through where for two weeks the front side of the Moon is illuminated by the Sun followed by the front side being in darkness for two weeks.

But what if the Earth stopped rotating completely? In that case, one half the Earth would be in daylight for half the year while the other side would be in darkness. The second half of the year it would be reversed. Temperature variations would be far more extreme then they are now. The temperature gradient would affect the wind circulation also. Air would move from the equator to the poles rather then in wind systems parallel to the equator as they are now.

Even stranger would be the change in the Sun's position in the sky. In the above scenario, Sun would just have a seasonal motion up and down the sky towards the south due to the orbit of the Earth and its axial tilt. You would see the elevation of the Sun increase or decrease in the sky just as we now see the elevation of the Sun change from a single point on the Earth due to the Earth's daily rotation.

As an example, say we live at 30 degrees North latitude. In the Summer, at a longitude where the Sun was exactly overhead, it would slide gradually to the horizon as Fall approached, but since the Sun has moved 90 degrees in its orbit, it would now be due west. As Winter approached, you would now be located on the dark side of the Earth. You would have to move to a longitude 180 degrees around the Earth to see the Sun 1/2 way up the sky because in the Winter, the Sun is 50 degrees south of its summer location in the sky.

There would be other effects of the Earth's rotation slowing also. The magnetic field of the Earth is generated by a dynamo effect that involves its rotation. If the Earth stopped rotating, the magnetic field would no longer be regenerated and it would decay away to some low, residual value due to the very small component which is 'fossilized' in its iron-rich rocks. There would be no more 'northern lights' and the Van Allen radiation belts would probably vanish, as would our protection from cosmic rays and other high-energy particles. Losing this protection would cause serious health issues.

Be glad for our Earthly rotation, without it we would be much worse off!

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cchasem    0

Wow that is EXACTLY related to the question I asked.. lol i never even thought to search the net for an answer! thanx :)

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username    0

I don't think it is possible for the earth to remain still though, it would regain is rotation speed based on the physics of objects with mass and how they function and interact with each other...

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shockz    5,961

Think about slamming the breaks on your car.

70 to 0 in a couple seconds. It sucks.

I don't even want to imagine what would happen.

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zhangm    1,335

But instead of 70mph to 0mph, it would be 1000mph to 0mph in an instant. Anything not very much attached to the earth would be flung around like rag dolls. And when the objects land, death.

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username    0

hell, probably half the crust would be ripped forward, even the oceans up over what land remained... the amount of energy to instantly stop the earth would be so tramatic, i don't think much could survive that is not microscopic becayse of the extreme force applied

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vincent    154

If the Earth was to suddenly come to a halt, there would be absolute chaos. Period.

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Toxicfume    7
If the Earth was to suddenly come to a halt, there would be absolute chaos. Period.

586355497[/snapback]

I guess he wants to know more like what phyiscally will happen, ie immediate effects/long time effects?

I think the Earth's orbitational movement would go borked if the earth stopped rotating, because I think the rotation is partly the reason why earth circles around the sun in a specific orbit. My guess would be the earth would be going closer to the sun, rather than away, but I'm not so sure. Again, this is what I think will happen, not facts, just to be clear. This, if true, will definitely mess up everything as you can imagine.

And ofcourse, there's the half earth will be in day time half earth at night thing. That will sruely effect lots of life on earth.

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lav-chan    0
Earth is rotating at a speed of about 1100 miles per hour. If our planet suddenly stopped rotating, the atmosphere would still be in motion at that speed. The atmosphere would be moving so fast it would literally sweep the land masses clear of anything not anchored to bedrock, this would mean rocks, soil, trees, buildings, people and animals. All would be swept up into the atmosphere.

If the Earth's rotation slowed down gradually over millions of years, and this is the most likely scenario, it would be a very different story. If the Earth slowed down to one rotation every year, called synchronous rotation, every area on Earth would be in either sunlight or darkness for one year. This would be similar to what the Moon goes through where for two weeks the front side of the Moon is illuminated by the Sun followed by the front side being in darkness for two weeks.

But what if the Earth stopped rotating completely? In that case, one half the Earth would be in daylight for half the year while the other side would be in darkness. The second half of the year it would be reversed. Temperature variations would be far more extreme then they are now. The temperature gradient would affect the wind circulation also. Air would move from the equator to the poles rather then in wind systems parallel to the equator as they are now.

Even stranger would be the change in the Sun's position in the sky. In the above scenario, Sun would just have a seasonal motion up and down the sky towards the south due to the orbit of the Earth and its axial tilt. You would see the elevation of the Sun increase or decrease in the sky just as we now see the elevation of the Sun change from a single point on the Earth due to the Earth's daily rotation.

As an example, say we live at 30 degrees North latitude. In the Summer, at a longitude where the Sun was exactly overhead, it would slide gradually to the horizon as Fall approached, but since the Sun has moved 90 degrees in its orbit, it would now be due west. As Winter approached, you would now be located on the dark side of the Earth. You would have to move to a longitude 180 degrees around the Earth to see the Sun 1/2 way up the sky because in the Winter, the Sun is 50 degrees south of its summer location in the sky.

There would be other effects of the Earth's rotation slowing also. The magnetic field of the Earth is generated by a dynamo effect that involves its rotation. If the Earth stopped rotating, the magnetic field would no longer be regenerated and it would decay away to some low, residual value due to the very small component which is 'fossilized' in its iron-rich rocks. There would be no more 'northern lights' and the Van Allen radiation belts would probably vanish, as would our protection from cosmic rays and other high-energy particles. Losing this protection would cause serious health issues.

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ShadowPHP    3

I think it would be far more likely of the Earth speeding up its rotations rather than them slowing down.

Can't explain why though. Just do.

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zixyon    8

well i dont know about sience but i think that the wind will blow all around the earth so fast that it will raz anything like in an atomic bomb along with huge tsunam's .. the earth will be round flat with nothing on the surface but naked lang ... at least that what i imagine

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Shibby    1

Everyone would die from the huge force of the earth stoping. sorta of like 07-0mph instantly can kill an average humen being what chance has anyone got when it's 1000-0mph?

the only one to probley live is them dam scorpions

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