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Thread: Rotating Earth Question...

  1. #1 Rotating Earth Question... 
    C_C
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    If a helicopter hovers in the air for 12 hours will it end up on the opposite side of the earth?


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  3. #2  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    no - when a helicopter hovers, it merely rotates in sync with the earth and everything else, so it remains over the same part of the earth


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  4. #3  
    C_C
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    If you were to draw an X on the ground at the south pole and then get in a helicopter and hover directly above it for 24 hours, would you observe the X rotate 360 degrees?
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_C
    If you were to draw an X on the ground at the south pole and then get in a helicopter and hover directly above it for 24 hours, would you observe the X rotate 360 degrees?
    I say yes, but in order to hover in the same place the pilot will have to continually make corrections. If he uses landmarks on the ground to orient himself, he will rotate along with the earth, but if he uses the stars, the earth will rotate around underneath him.
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  6. #5  
    C_C
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    Two planes take off in opposite directions at the same time and from the same location on the equator. Both planes travel around the equator at the same rate of speed until they land at the point they took off from. Do the planes land at separate times?
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  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_C
    Two planes take off in opposite directions at the same time and from the same location on the equator. Both planes travel around the equator at the same rate of speed until they land at the point they took off from. Do the planes land at separate times?
    Assuming that we don't have to take global wind patterns into account (if so, then all bets are off.), then no. A plane's speed is measured relative to the air, and the Earth's atmosphere turns with the Earth.

    If however, you go beyond the Earth's atmosphere you can get different results. Assume you have two satellites orbiting at the same altitude but in opposite directions over the equator. They start off right next to each other and over a particular spot on the Earth. Then in this case, it will take one satellite longer to return to position over that particular spot on the Earth then it will for the other.
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  8. #7  
    C_C
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    The reason I ask is because of the claims being made at this website.
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  9. #8  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_C
    The reason I ask is because of the claims being made at this website.
    I'll put it plainly. The authors of that website are idiots.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janus
    Quote Originally Posted by C_C
    The reason I ask is because of the claims being made at this website.
    I'll put it plainly. The authors of that website are idiots.
    i have to disagree - calling these people idiots is to give idiots a bad name
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    i have to disagree - calling these people idiots is to give idiots a bad name
    Disadvantage of the modern internet. Every moron, halfwitted conspiracy theory lunatic or religious fanatic can and - worst of all - WILL spread their junk via the 3w
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  12. #11 SPIN OF EARTH Q 
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    Assuming that we don't have to take global wind patterns into account (if so, then all bets are off.), then no. A plane's speed is measured relative to the air, and the Earth's atmosphere turns with the Earth.
    What about the coriolus effect?
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  13. #12 Re: Rotating Earth Question... 
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_C
    If a helicopter hovers in the air for 12 hours will it end up on the opposite side of the earth?
    Something to keep in mind about this sort of thing: the majority of the atmosphere is just about as tightly attached to the Earth as the skin is on an apple.

    If it were not - in other words if the Earth simply rotated inside the atmosphere - we couldn't live on most of the surface because of the horrific wind!! The Earth is about 25,000 in circumference and rotates once every 24 hours. That means the surface winds would be almost a thousand miles per hour at the equator. Interesting, yes?
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  14. #13  
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    Yeah. What he said.

    The air rotates around the Earth the same as the land. Otherwise, there would be constantly a wind over 1000 mph blowing around the equator. (Well, the air would be standing still, but the land would be moving through the air at over 1000 mph, because that's how fast the Earth rotates).
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