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Gyroscopic effect on planetary motion

  1. Feb 7, 2012 #1
    Gyroscopic effect on planetary motion!!

    Hi PFians

    This is my first ever post in astrophysics since I've got very interested in it from last 2 days...

    I was wondering when earth rotates about it's axis and at the same time changes it's direction due to revolution about sun....won't it have to handle gyroscopic effects. When a spinning object like a bicycle wheel is forced to change direction(while steering), it undergoes rotation about an axis perpendicular to the changed direction and hence the whole bicycle rotates (to counter this we lean the bicycle at an angle).
    Similarly, when the spinning earth will change its direction due to movement about sun, it will undergo rotation about an axis exactly perpendicular to rotational axis.
    Correct me if I am wrong!!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2012 #2

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Gyroscopic effect on planetary motion!!

    Take a bicycle wheel in your hands and set it spinning. Now turn the wheel to the side. You will experience a force turning you around.

    This is not how the Earth works.

    Take a bicycle wheel in your hands and set it spinning. Now step forward, then left then back then right. You do not experience a force turning you around.

    This is how the Earth works.
     
  4. Feb 7, 2012 #3
    Re: Gyroscopic effect on planetary motion!!

    Yeah! I got it wrong! Actually direction of earth's rotational axis doesn't change!!
    But what about the precession of equinoxes (the earth's wobbling). At that time the earth's rotational axis gets changed...... so then earth must experience Gyroscopic effects!
     
  5. Feb 7, 2012 #4

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Gyroscopic effect on planetary motion!!

    Earth's precession occurs over 26,000 years. That's 75 years per 1 degree.
     
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