Clara learned from her older sister that the earth rotates. Always. Who would have to believe that? We would feel it! Wouldn’t we?
Before we delve into the answer to this interesting question, it would probably be exciting to know why the earth rotates in the first place.
Well, it’s a bit complicated, but you could say that when the sun and its planets formed, there was a lot of dust and gas flying through space.
This led to huge dust clouds, which at some point became so dense that they contracted under the influence of gravity.
The components of these dust clouds gradually began to spin and began to rotate.
The Earth developed from one of these dust clouds. And since there was and is nothing in the vacuum of space to stop the rotation, the original spin remains.
Just like the other planets, the Earth rotates around the Sun. It takes one year to do so, which is 365 days. But the Earth doesn’t just spin around the Sun, it also spins around itself, like a figure skater doing a pirouette. It also spins quite fast: at the equator with about 1670 km per hour and at our latitudes, i.e. where we live, with about 1000 km per hour. This speed is comparable to that of a passenger plane! By the way, the equator means the place where the earth has its greatest circumference, that is, where it is thickest. It is like putting a belt around the earth.
Why don’t we feel that the earth is rotating
The answer is actually very simple: because everything on Earth is spinning, too. Imagine you are sitting in a car. You notice that the car is moving just because you see the trees, houses, and cows go by. And maybe even because you can hear the engine. In an airplane, on the other hand, you don’t notice that the plane is moving, even though it has a much higher speed than a car. But when you look out the window, there’s often just blue sky and nothing stopping and flying in front of you.
So the rotation of the earth is not only about the land and the mountains and the seas, but also about the birds and the clouds; everything that belongs to the earth because it is attracted to the earth. This is called the gravitational attraction of the earth. The earth’s sphere is in a kind of huge balloon, the earth’s atmosphere. In this balloon is also the air that we have to breathe. And everything in this big balloon is attracted to the earth and does a pirouette together with the earth every day.
The only thing we can see that does not spin with us is the sun. In the morning we see it rise and in the evening it sets on the other side. That’s why we can’t stay in the same place throughout the day. In the garden it may shine in the morning, in the afternoon it may be in the shade. Almost as if the sun is moving. But it doesn’t. The earth moves. We don’t feel it. But we can see it, thanks to the sun.