This is an impossible situation. The Earth can’t stop rotating suddenly, but, if it did, the consequences would be disastrous. However, imagining that the Earth stopped rotating serves us to understand better physic and scientific concepts that otherwise we wouldn’t consider ourselves.
These are some of the consequences that would take place in the case that someday the Earth stopped rotating suddenly:
- Everything on the Earth’s surface would be thrown away to the East. At the Equator, at speed of 1 600 km/h, and as we would approach the poles this speed would reduce. At 10º of North of South latitude, the speed would only be 285 km/h, and at the poles, it would hardly be noticeable. The escape velocity of the Earth (the minimum speed required to get out of its gravitational field) is of 40 000 km/h, so we wouldn’t be fired out to space. However, the damages would be terrible.
- The speed of the wind generated by this phenomenon would be so elevated (faster than the wind originated by the impact of an atomic bomb), that it would cause fires in a big part of the surface of the planet. Due to this, many storms and other meteorological phenomenons would also be formed.
- The originated wind would also provoke an unprecedented, erosion that would devastate a big part of the Earth’s surface.
- The oceans would also suffer. These ones would move laterally at 1 600 km/h (at the Equator), elevating themselves as enormous tsunamis and flooding all the continents. Then, as there wouldn’t be any centrifugal force that normally keeps the oceans where they are, the water would accumulate itself at the poles. The Earth would be left with an only continent, that would form a strip at the Equator’s line, and that would separate the two oceans around the poles. The centre of the Earth would run out of water.
- As the rotatory movement of our planet provokes that the Earth isn’t round, but oval at the poles, if this force disappears, the planet would convert into an almost perfect sphere.
- From the moment which the Earth stopped rotating onto its axis, the days would pass to last 24 hours to last for 365 days. In consequence, during 6 months, a part of the Earth would be exposed to an almost unbearable temperature for life, and, during the other 6 months, it would freeze. This would have some catastrophic consequences for the plants and animals.
- Without the rotation of the Earth, the magnetic field of our planet would disappear. In consequence, the solar flares would destroy any form of life that could remain.
In front of this scenery, the possibilities of life on the Earth would be non-existent, with a season in which would do so much hot that it would make the life on the planet impossible, and a season in which there would make a terrible cold. Additionally, the solar flares would destroy any type of life. Anyway, we haven’t of what worrying, as the hypothesis that the Earth stopped rotating suddenly is impossible.
Why aren’t there hurricanes in the Equator?
The Coriolis effect applications
The effects of the Moon on the Earth
Snow in the Sahara, a rare phenomenon
Why does the Moon only shows us one face?
Stephenson 2-18, the biggest star known in the universe
The miner exploitation of the asteroid belt, a resource source
Space junk, a big problem in orbit
The size and form that the aliens would have
The Venus Express probe from the ESA to Venus
Why can’t we hear sounds in the space?
Which are the requirements to be a planet?
The units of measurement that we use in astronomy