Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

Why Don’t We Feel the Earth Going Around?

Why Don’t We Feel the Earth Going Around?

We cannot feel the Earth rotating because we are moving with it. For example, if we are in a car which is moving at a constant speed on a smooth surface, we will not feel much motion. However, when the car accelerates or when the brakes are applied, we do feel motion, even with our eyes closed. This is because we can feel the bumpiness of the road.

We are also aware of the swaying and the racing sounds of the engine. These are clues that tell us we are in motion. Also, when riding in a car, we can tell that we are moving by watching the trees and buildings fly by. The Earth gives us none of these clues. It spins smoothly and noiselessly in space. Therefore, we cannot feel it moving at all.

Earth moves very fast. It spins (rotates) at a speed of about 1,000 miles (1600 kilometers) per hour and orbits around the Sun at a speed of about 67,000 miles (107,000 kilometers) per hour. We do not feel any of this motion because these speeds are constant. The spinning and orbital speeds of Earth stay the same so we do not feel any acceleration or deceleration. You can only feel motion if our speed changes.

Content for this question contributed by Shawn Wallace, resident of Pitcairn, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA