# If the Earth is rotating counter clockwise, how does the sun rise from east?

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...

• 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?? Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 11:58
• @Alchimista Yes, exactly! But then the sun is supposed to rise from West if the Earth is rotating in the same direction! Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 16:02
• Are you trolling? I did not watch video it can be fictional or wrong Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 16:04
• @Alchimista Never mind, I just figured it out by myself... Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 16:20
• "it seems very clear that if the Earth is really rotating from west to east": This says nothing about the direction of rotation! Commented Mar 20 at 22:45

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 for a good simple experiment and an honorary +1 for special nerd instructions. Commented Apr 3, 2018 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.

• 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". Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 22:43
• @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. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 14:40

I have another experiment:

• Take your right hand (representing the earth) facing the back of your hand, so the thumb (left) is west and the little finger (right) is east (your middle finger is north, the elbow is south).
• It's night now, and the sun is at the palm-side of your hand.
• Now rotate your hand counter-clock wise (CCW), watching which finger will get the sunlight first:
• It's the little finger (east) rotating towards an imaginary fixed west direction, while that finger is the east.
• Eventually your thumb (west) will point towards the sun.