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

Question about how stars appear to move westward?

  1. Sep 22, 2010 #1
    Ok, the stars appear to move westword correct? Is that because the earth is moving eastword, so its just an illusion that the stars move westword?

    Is this newtons 3rd law? (every action has an equal and opposite reaction)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2010 #2
    I think you're talking about Diurnal Motion. It's because of earth's rotational motion on it's axis.
  4. Sep 22, 2010 #3
    No, it's just a consequence of looking at something while moving. Similar to looking out the side window of a moving car (or train, plane, etc). If you are moving to your left objects appear to be moving to your right. In the case of a car it is obvious that you are moving and the objects are actually motionless. That is only because we are so familiar with cars and the fact that they move. We are not really used to thinking about the Earth as moving.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook