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Air and Earth's rotation

  1. Jan 6, 2009 #1
    We all know that at the equator the Earth's rotates at over 1000 mph.
    My question is why don't we feel the air of the atmosphere "crashing" with us.
    What holds the air so that it keeps moving with us?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Two ways to look at it:

    1. Friction. If the wind were blowing at 1000 mph, there'd be a lot of drag slowing it down.
    2. What would cause the air to start to move that fast?
  4. Jan 7, 2009 #3


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    Gold Member

    Gravity. Conservation of angular momentum. Etc..
    The atmosphere has been rotating with the planet since it formed. There are variations, of course, which result in weather, but 'still air' is moving at the same speed as the planetary surface.
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