Wondering about wild grapes

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wondering how much the Earth spins.

I am going to ask you a question. How much does the Earth spin in one day? Now that sounds like a simple question, doesn’t it? My quick answer would be that it spins around 360 degrees (one full turn) each 24 hours. So, do you agree with my quick answer?

OK, I know that I said I was going to ask you “a” question and it turned into three questions, but you know, sometimes I get carried away. So, now let us think about this a little more. The Earth also rotates around the Sun once a year. I think we all accept that fact instead of what they used to think, that the Sun rotated around the Earth. Well, everyone was wrong; everything rotates around me, right? Just kidding.

To make my computations simple, I am going to round off some numbers. For instance, lets just say that there are 360 days in a year instead of 365; this will let things come out in whole numbers that are very close to the actual ones. Now, if the Earth rotates 360 degrees around its axis each day and also revolves around the Sun in about 360 days, that would mean that when the Earth got half way around the Sun that the Sun would be as high in the sky at midnight as it was going to get and it would be pitch black dark at noon. So something in our assumptions must be wrong.

The error is in thinking that the Earth rotates on its axis 360 degrees each day, when in fact, it rotates 361 degrees each day. That keeps the night dark and the day bright, unless it is cloudy. That roughly means that at the same time each day we are orientate to the sun the same way. Since the Earth tilts on its axis in relation to its orbit, the length of the days change and the location of the sun at noon in the sky moves north and south depending on the seasons, but it is always at its highest point at noon and at that time your shadow points north (if you live north of the equator).

Now that I am thoroughly confused, I will just say that I hope your day is sunny, unless you need rain like we do.


  1. Didn't take long to confuse ol' Billy Bob. That's all I needed to start off another day.....of total confusion.

  2. Slept thru ur lecture today,,,lololol

  3. Well, at least you didn't leave us in the dark . . .until we rotated around back into the light.

  4. Billy Bob, Guess your day can only get better now that you got my confusing blog out ot the way.

    Trouble, Glad you got some extra ZZZZ's

    Sixbears, no- I don't want to leave anyone in the dark. It always amazes me how complicated some things are that we thought was so simple.

  5. Speaking of star gazing. I know you got telescopes , did you read this guy's blog today? He is putting one back together from parts he is finding here and there. Yes, I gave him your blog link

  6. As long as we keep spinning I'm ok with it.

  7. Ben, thanks, I looked at the blog. Very interesting.

    Gypsy, sometimes I just feel like I am spinning if I stand up too fast. (grin)

  8. IT spins 25000 miles in 24 hours or 1041 miles per hour, is't that correct? I think that right.

  9. I agree with Gypsy...as long as we keep spinning we are good to go...did you ever see the movie Baby Boom...she was having so much trouble with her water..."I just want to turn the faucet on and have water...I don't care where comes from and how it got here"..that pretty much sums it up for me these days!..thanks for all you nice comments ...

  10. C & G, you are correct. Wouldn't you weigh less on a spring scales on the equator since it is spinning so fast and trying to throw you off?

    Ain't for, Too bad it can't be like that, especially when you live in the cournty. Have to be pretty much self sufficient, which is a good thing. Love that old RV you restored. Beautiful.