What If Earth Stopped Spinning? - Deepstash

# What If Earth Stopped Spinning?

science.howstuffworks.com

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## Entertaining the idea of a still-standing earth

The assumption that the Earth can stop spinning is far-fetched. But, what if something changed the Earth's rotation? Let's assume the Earth stopped spinning gradually.

And let's suppose that Earth's ecosystems have survived the transition. What would the new world look like?

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## If the earth stopped spinning

• Earth would take a whole year to cycle from night to day and back. Cities would be in darkness for half the year and in sunlight the other half.
• The polar regions would be deep underwater. When the Earth rotates, centrifugal force causes the planet to bulge along the equator. Without a bulge, all the extra water held in place along the equator would return toward the poles.
• The Earth magnetic field might go away, leaving us exposed to harmful solar winds.

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## Why the Earth spins

Earth spins on its axis as it revolves around the sun.

Newton's first law of motion states that an object remains in the state of motion it's in unless another force acts upon it.

Before there were planets in our solar system, there was a spinning nebulous cloud of dust. The spinning dust collided over time and stuck together, forming larger rocks and, ultimately, planets. The cloud of dust was rotating from the start. The angular momentum the Earth needs keeps the world spinning.

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## The earth spins faster than the speed of sound

The Earth spins at the speed of 1,036 miles per hour (1,667 kilometres per hour).

• The tides can slow the Earth's rotation speed and add about 2.3 milliseconds to our day every century.
• Weather systems can also change the Earth's rotation.
• Earthquakes can change the length of the day by redistributing the Earth's mass. The 2011 earthquake in Japan accelerated the Earth's spin and shortened the day by 1.8 microseconds.

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