MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Clarification to answer 975746560.Ph

Date: Wed Dec 13 13:52:48 2000
Posted By: Donald Howard, Staff, Nuclear Engineering, Retired
Area of science: Physics
ID: 976686519.Ph

First, the human body doesn't feel speed.  Traveling down the road at 60 
miles an hour in a car feels no different that flying at 500 miles per 
hour in a 747.  It may be noisier, but as long as the speed is constant, 
we don't feel it.

But, even if we could feel it, the difference between the speed at the 
equator at midnight when the planet surface is moving with the orbit and 
the difference at noon when it's going against the orbit is tiny.  Do the 
math:  the earth's orbit around the sun has a radius of roughly 93 million 
miles.  Multiply that times Pi to get the circumference.  Dividing the 
circumference by 365 gives you the number of miles per day the earth 
travels along it's orbit.  Divide that by 24 and you'll get a little over 
33,300 miles per hour.  And, the difference between 32,300 and 34,300 is 
only about 6% per day... or about a change of 0.00007% per second.  
Essentially, no change at all.

If you could feel that, you would probably be sea-sick all the time, as 
what you'd feel just turning around would be a million times stronger.

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