How Fast Are You Spinning?

How Fast Are You Spinning?

You may think you are sitting still as you read this, but you are actually moving at tremendous speeds in various directions. You are on planet Earth which is rotating on its axis. The planet is also orbiting around the Sun. More than that, our solar system is spiraling around the Milky Way. Yes, the Milky Way is also moving in relation to other galaxies. It’s enough to make your head spin but let’s just look at Earth’s rotation. How fast are you spinning?

Earth’s circumference at the equator is about 24,900 miles, and a day, the time when Earth makes one rotation, is 24 hours. Therefore, if you are on the equator, you are moving at about 1040 miles per hour. Where I am, on the same latitude as Chicago, I am spinning around at 773 miles per hour. That’s because the circle at that latitude is much smaller. Those who live in Anchorage, Alaska, are moving at a leisurely 504 miles per hour. How fast are you spinning if you are standing on the North Pole? I doubt if any of our readers are doing that, but if so, you are just spinning in the same place like a top every 24 hours. Try not to get dizzy.

This spinning of Earth creates centrifugal force, which works against the pull of gravity. At Earth’s present rotational speed, if you moved to the equator from the North Pole, you would weigh about one pound less. Not a very efficient way to lose weight.

What would happen if Earth’s spin increased by one mile per hour? Centrifugal force would raise the ocean’s water level at the equator by a few inches and lower it in the Arctic Ocean. More noticeable would be that geosynchronous communications satellites would be out of their proper positions disrupting GPS services, satellite communications, television broadcasting, and military operations. A ten percent increase in Earth’s rotational speed would make the days only 22 hours long. And you thought you were having trouble getting everything done now. How fast are you spinning, and is the whole universe and our place in it just an accident?

What’s the point of all this? We have often discussed the many things that make this planet suitable for advanced life. Abundant water, a just-right tilt of the axis, the right spin, and a just-right Moon to stabilize the spin and speed. Those are only a few of Earth’s remarkable features. It almost seems that it was designed for a purpose by an intelligent Designer who knew we were coming.

— Roland Earnst © 2023