I was very confused when I watched this video from 2:18 till 2:45. And it seems very clear that if the Earth is really rotating from west to east, shouldn't be the Sun rising from west and setting in east? We all know certainly that the sun rises from east, but how come Earth is rotating in the way as shown in the linked video?

PS: I somehow feel very stupid for asking this question...

  • $\begingroup$ If you rotates on your feet from right to left, do not objects come into your vision field from left and disappear from it at your right?? $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Jan 3 '18 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Alchimista Yes, exactly! But then the sun is supposed to rise from West if the Earth is rotating in the same direction! $\endgroup$ – Sha59 Maa Jan 3 '18 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ Are you trolling? I did not watch video it can be fictional or wrong $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Jan 3 '18 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Alchimista Never mind, I just figured it out by myself... $\endgroup$ – Sha59 Maa Jan 3 '18 at 16:20

Try this non-Gedanken-but-real experiment:

  • Hold an apple in your hand so the Sun (or a light) shines on it. Nerds may use a proper globe.
  • Along the apple equator draw arrows to the right with an E for East: E→E→E→E, .... Nerds be sure to use a non-permanent marker.
  • Spin it counterclockwise (when looked at from above, i.e. the North pole). You're doing it right when all the Es move in the direction of the arrows. West to East.
  • The Sun rises on all points on the apple that go from dark to bright; identify that line. It should be half a circle.
  • Imagine a near indestructible humanoid killer machine from the future standing on that line (called terminator, the line, that is). What direction does the machine look when it glances at the Sun the moment he (the Sun, that is) rises?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 for a good simple experiment and an honorary +1 for special nerd instructions. $\endgroup$ – Asher Apr 3 '18 at 4:47

Try standing in a room, facing a particular wall. Spread your arms out to your sides, and spin slowly with your right arm leading, so that you’re turning towards your right. This is like the Earth rotating from west to east. Now notice that everything around you seems to be “rotating” in the other direction, from your right hand side to your left. This is the same as the Sun (and everything else in the sky) rising in the east and setting in the west.

This is a similar effect to being in a car, and overtaking a slower moving vehicle. You’re travelling forwards, but the other vehicle appears to be going backwards from your perspective.

  • $\begingroup$ What I understood from the spinning part is that I start by facing a particular wall, start rotating towards my left (because that's how Earth is supposed to be moving), and notice if the "movement" of the wall gets reversed. I tried doing that but I didn't notice any reverse in my "experiment". $\endgroup$ – Sha59 Maa Jan 2 '18 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Sha59Maa if you turn from right to left, an object in front of you to your left ends up on the right. That is the "reverse" meant here. $\endgroup$ – Asher Mar 5 '18 at 14:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.