What Happen If the Earth Stopped Spinning

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Earth spinning on its axis

Earth makes one complete spin on its tilted axis every 24 hours. Viewing from the north pole, the earth is actually spinning counterclockwise from west to east with a speed of approximately 1000 mph at the equator. The spin speed decreases as we move closer to the pole as it obeys conservation of angular momentum. The rotation is actually slowing down due to conservation of angular momentum. The earth loses its angular momentum to Moon’s orbital momentum due to tidal friction.

Have you guys ever think about what will happen if the earth’s rotation ever stop?

As it slows down, it might eventually stop spinning if it lost all angular momentum. If it happened one day, imagine that only motion earth has is when it moves on its orbit around the sun, orbital period will remain as it is now, 365 days. But now, day and night only depends on orbital movement. This means, at one place, it can only have one daytime and one night time in a year that lasts for six months each.

 

If it is a sudden stop, inertia will cause everything on the surface to keep moving at the same speed as it has before, 1000 mph. This tremendous speed will sweep everything away into the air. The ocean will also keep moving but it will not be floating in the air, it will cause tsunamis that will wash away the earth surface up to 17 miles from a seashore.

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A perfect sphere earth with only one continent

The spinning gives the earth bulge at the equator to ensure that ocean is kept about 8 kilometers from each pole. Without the spin, the bulge will disappear, changing the initial flattened sphere into a perfect sphere. This causes the ocean to move to the poles, splitting it to two oceans and continents will merge forming one huge continent extending from the equator.

The core also will stop rotating. The movement if mantle around the core produces magnetic field and also magnetosphere that will shield the earth from high energy particles brought by solar wind. The absence of magnetosphere will cause the harmful particles to strip down everything on earth surface leaving a large bare land.

Here’s the video of what might happen if the earth ever stop spinning.

Kepler Mission

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Kepler

Kepler was launched by NASA in March 2009 and the main mission is to find habitable planets like earth orbiting other stars in our Milky Way besides searching for exoplanets is this galaxy.

Earth like planets must be a terrestrial planet, the size must not differ much from the earth’s, and it must be in an orbit that has moderate temperature to allow the presence of water on it surface.

Kepler used transit method in finding exoplanets. It is applicable to planets with low orbital period (the interval between transits is small). Transit method observes the brightness reduction of a star when a planet passed in front of it. The short orbital period ensures that Kepler could observe a similar pattern of dip for more than once to confirm that an object is orbiting their star. With this method, orbital size and mass of an exoplanet can be determined. The star’s temperature and orbital size would be the vital information needed to know whether or not a planet can be habitable.

The failure of two Kepler’s reaction wheels (used to point Kepler in certain direction) causes NASA to end this mission. Nevertheless, the mission in continued by K2. Kepler found 4496 exoplanet candidates, 2331 was confirmed to be exoplanets and 21 of them are earth-like planets.

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Kepler-62f– one of the habitable exoplanets found by Kepler mission

You can read more about Kepler mission here

 

Earth-size diamond

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This is not the real image of pulsar PSR J2222-0137 and its companion, the diamond white dwarf

As a star is running out of hydrogen to undergo fusion, its mass will determine the fate of the star. For a star that has mass more than eight times of our sun’s mass will undergo an explosion called supernova, and it will become a black hole or a neuron star. A star than is smaller than or about the size of our sun, called medium-sized star will become a white dwarf.

900 light years away from the Earth, in the direction of constellation Aquarius, there is a pulsar spinning 30 times per second. Pulsar is a spinning neuron star, and this pulsar is called PSR J2222-0137. As it spins, it sends out a radio signal and it is detectable by radio telescopes on earth as it pass the earth. Sometimes, the radio signal get delayed as it passes its companion object. Astronomers used Einstein theory of relativity to find out that the mass of the companion object is 1.05 times our sun’s mass.

Their efforts of trying to observe the companion object that is believed to be a white dwarf is futile even with optical and infrared light as it is too cold and faint. The white dwarf’s temperature is about 2700 degree celsius, 5000 times colder than the sun’s core. Astronomers believed that as it is composed mainly of carbon and oxygen, extremely dense and cold, the carbon has crystallized to diamond. The diamond is about the size of the earth with the mass of the sun.

You can read more about this white dwarf here.

Dinosaur Extinction Theory

What are the differences of asteroid, meteoroid, meteorite, and meteor?

Asteroids are the rocks in the space that is orbiting the sun.

Meteoroids are small particles orbiting the sun.

Meteor is the light that is produced by meteoroids passing the atmosphere due to friction.

Meteorites are the meteoroids that reached the earth

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Where are these species have gone to? Why can’t we see them at the zoo?

One of the theories of the extinction of dinosaurs is caused by an impact of an asteroid or comet about 65 million years ago. It caused massive tsunamis and debris to float in the sky for years preventing sunlight from penetrating to the earth surface killing most of the living things on earth. It is believed that the place called Chicxulub ( means it’s the dinosaurs killer), Mexico was struck leaving a huge crater and it is predicted that the energy of the impactor must be 10 billion times of the energy nuclear bomb exploded in Hiroshima.

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The above is an image of Chicxulub,Mexico

Another theory is massive volcanic eruption in India killed the dinosaurs. The scientists believed that a volcano in India erupted, killing some dinosaurs and the soot stayed in the sky that it also prevented the earth from getting sunlight. Plants could not undergo photosynthesis, died and the primary source of food for animals depleted. As a result they starved to death. You can read more on this website.

 

Pangaea

Europe+ Africa+ Asia+ Antarctica+ Australia+North America+ South America=?

What would the above equation be equal to? PANGAEA !!!!!

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Above is an image of Pangaea predicted by geologist

Atlantic Ocean+ Indian Ocean+Pacific Ocean + Arctic Ocean +Southern Ocean=?

What would the second equation equal to?? PANTHALASSA!!!

The earth was once not separated, only a single large land combined together called Pangaea and surrounded but a single large ocean, Panthalassa. You might wonder how they got separated? What kind of energy that was used to separate the large lands? And what will happen in the future to the lands?

Plate tectonics occur due to movement of mantle in the earth surface by convection. Convection is a movement of hotter, therefore less dense fluid to replace the cooler, hence denser fluid above them and vice versa. The movement of mantle below earth crust causes the seafloor crust and continental crust to move slowly with them. The movement is slow enough that is about 2 cm a year, so it becomes unnoticeable unless to those who are studying them.

Evidence

The scientists realized the existence of Pangaea because they found similar type of fossil at distant places.

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Dicynodont’s fossil was found in India, South Africa and Australia is an evident that shows they are able to move to different places because plate tectonics have not separate the land into continents.- Dicynodont.

 

 

At the end of a rainbow

Ever wonder where a rainbow ends or starts? And what is at the rainbow’s end? Children might think a pot of gold awaits for them there.

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I might not be able to answer those questions but I can tell you about the colors of the rainbow. The reason why the have different colors.Its because, the light have a continuous spectrum of light.

Visible light is only a small range of electromagnetic wave that can be seen by our naked eyes.

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Electromagnetic Spectrum

From our left is gamma ray, X-ray, ultraviolet ray, visible light, infrared, microwave and radio. They are in a sequence of decreasing energy, decreasing frequency and increasing wavelength.

The small fraction of electromagnetic spectrum-visible light

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As you can see, the colors composing a rainbow are actually the spectrum of light so does the sequence of the colors of a rainbow. From right, the characteristics are the same as for electromagnetic spectrum.

Scientists have created observatories to observe different type of electromagnetic spectrum-click here

 

Supermoon

Tides

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How does tide occurs? It is due to combination of gravitational pull of the Sun and the moon. Tidal force affects the earth but the most significant effect is tidal bulge of the ocean. The ground only moves only by several centimeters but the sea level can increase up to several feet. Spring tides occur during full moon and new moon. At these phases, the alignment of the moon and the sun sums up their gravitational force, creating large tidal force. Neap tides occur during third quarter and first quarter of moon phases, where the sun and the moon’s gravitational do not sum up, creating small gravitational force.

Neap Tides & Spring Tides

Supermoon

Have you guys ever heard or seen supermoon? Do you guys know what supermoon is?

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A picture of supermoon

Supermoon occurs when the position of the moon is closer to the Earth than it usually is. So, the gravitational force of the moon contributing to tidal force increases dramatically. It appears brighter and closer to the earth. Unfortunately, this magnificent view unfortunately can cause natural disasters to occur.

Some of the natural disasters that might have been caused by supermoon:

 

Japan earthquake

The 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami were related to supermoon but some people debated about this as some source stated that supermoon did not occur on March 11 2011.

There is an interesting article about supermoon and its relation to natural disaster click here

 

 

Absolute Speed

Light travels the Earth seven times per second, 8.3 minutes to reach the Earth from the Sun, 43.2 minutes to reach Jupiter and the list goes on. One would assume that light travels at an infinite speed because an observer will instantaneously see the light after turning on a torchlight. It is not the case as the distance between him and the light source is incomparable to the speed of light.

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The GIF above summarizes their experiments, in the end, both of Galileo just shrugged his shoulders-Galileo’s Experiment

In 1638, Galileo Galilei tried to measure it with his assistant’s help. They went to two mountains each holding one lamp. One of them lighted up his lamp and once the other person saw it, he must light up his. They wanted to divide the distance between them and the time taken traveled by the lamps’ light. Sadly, his attempts was futile.

Then, a Danish astronomer  Ole Romer was successful to measure the speed of light (220000 km per second) although it is a little off due to inaccurately known Earth Sun  distance. As he was studying one of Jupiter’s moons, IO, he realized it did not rise at the predicted time, sometimes earlier and sometimes later. It is due to Earth Jupiter distance, later of the distance is large and earlier if closer.

The actual speed of light in vacuum is 299792458 m/s and it is the highest speed that cannot be achieved by any other things in the universe. 

Light Years????

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Nahhhh, this is not what I was talking about even though he is the “lightyear”-Buzz Lightyear.

My family enjoys watching Discovery Channel, and it is how we spend our time watching television together. First time hearing those words, I could not brain what it actually is. So, what it actually is? One light year is the distance traveled by light in a year and it is equal to 6 trillion miles. It is used for the distance of stars and galaxies.

2.537 million light years is spent by light traveling from the nearest galaxy, Andromeda to the Earth. This means that, if we are observing Andromeda, and we see something is happening there on during our observation, we are actually observing an event that already happened 2.537 million years ago. And if there is a living soul in Andromeda observing the Earth, they must be observing chimpanzees and other related species.

Links: Time for light to travel to planets,Light year,Evolution of life on Earth,The speed of light’s experiments

Heyyyyyy

Hi friends, I’m Akrimi Fauzi or Kimi for short. I came all the way from Malaysia to pursue my study in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in Vanderbilt University and now I am already in my sophomore year. Yayyyy.

Ever wonder where the picture below was taken??? It was taken when I was on my way to Crater Lake, Oregon but me and my friends stopped somewhere in the middle of our journey to capture this magnificent view.

One of my short term goals is to visit all states in United States before graduating because I want to explore this world as much as possible and travelling can only be done during a break. During the semester, I decided to take classes about the vast universe that has not been completely explored by human beings. I took  ASTR 1210 class during Maymester last summer and I went to Vanderbilt’s observatory center. As for this semester, I’m looking forward to learn more about it from ASTR 2110 class.

My favorite movie about the space is Interstellar and if you haven’t seen this movie, here’s the TRAILER.

 

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