Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Earth's Gravity if the Earth rotated the opposite direction

  1. Sep 29, 2011 #1
    I think this is an interesting question and it happens to be a problem I have to solve. If the Earth rotated about its axis at the same rate it does right now how would that affect the gravity at the equator and the north pole?

    I personally do not think it will change it because I believe that the gravity it is function of lattitude size and the rate of rotation.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Your question is confusing. If the axis stays the same, gravity is unaffected. The difference between the equator and the pole is a result of the equatorial bulge, resulting from rotation.
  4. Sep 29, 2011 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The gravitational force depends only upon the mass of the earth (and the object being attracted) and has nothing to do with the rotation of the earth. The "net force" on an object, the gravitational force minus the "centrifugal force" depends upon the magnitude of the rotation of the earth, but not the direction.
  5. Sep 29, 2011 #4
    So your saying that it doesn't matter what direction the Earth rotates? The magnitude will be the same.
  6. Sep 29, 2011 #5
    Yes, If you need convincing the classical equation for gravity makes no mention of rotation.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook