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Why does the earth rotate on its axis?

Why does the earth rotate on its axis?
Jamie Pettman from Hampshire (Aged 15-25)

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One Response

  1. The earth was formed when a giant cloud of gas particles was attracted toward one another. They all rushed to a common centre, and collided to formed the earth.

    If you have seen two ice-skaters spinning on the spot, hands linked, leaning out with their heads back, and then picture them as they pull themselves upright and bring their heads very close together, you’ll recall that the closer they get the faster they spin.

    As the particles that formed the earth neared the common centre exactly the same thing happened – any motion they already had that wasn’t directly towards the centre became more and magnified, resulting in faster and faster rotation until, as the planet forms, it’s spinning very rapidly.

    The reason that the planet is still spinning, though it formed an incredibly long time ago, is because it is spinning in a near-perfect vacuum of space – that is to say there are very few particles around to bump into it and slow it down. Little by little it is losing energy and is slowing down – but the effect is not noticeable to you and I.

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