Rotation of the Earth

 

Foucault’s Pendulum

  • The oldest method you can do yourself for a small budget is Foucault’s Pendulum, or you can see these at many museums. I’ve seen the one at the Chicago Science museum myself.
  • The pendulum rotates while swinging. The rotation is about once a day at the North Pole and decreases as the latitude is farther south until you get to the equator where it doesn’t turn. Then, south of the equator it rotates the other direction increasing in speed as it goes farther south. The amount of time the pendulum takes to rotate one full revolution is just under 24 hours divided by the sine of the latitude.
  • This observed behavior is predicted by a rotating spherical earth. This confirms the spinning earth hypothesis.
  • There are some flat earth ideas on what causes this.
    • One popular idea is that the flat earth sun swishes through the aether causing the pendulum to move. Unfortunately, the same idea about the sun suggests the sun travels in wider and narrower concentric circles.  If this were the case, the amount of rotation would vary as the sun got closer or farther away.  Additionally, the place where the rotation stopped would vary with the sun’s movement instead of always being on the equator.
    • There are further problems should some otherwise never-heard-of-before force causing the rotation. Firstly, why would it vary with the sine of the latitude?  Sine and cosine functions strongly suggest a uniformly curving ellipsoid surface.
    • The flat earth idea does not match observations, therefore it is wrong.
  • If you take issue with this information, I want to hear about it.  Please email me: mctoon@mctoon.net

 

Eötvös Effect

  • Weight changes based on latitude and movement
  • The downward acceleration, typically called gravity, can be directly measured. If the earth is spinning about once per day this force should vary with latitude. However, this acceleration is also affected by the distance from the center of the earth’s mass. This mingled change can be controlled by measuring at similar elevations. We can also travel at a sufficiently high enough speed to greatly diminish or increase the net lateral speed.
  • We can create a hypothesis for this effect:
    • If the earth is spinning about one revolution per day, objects weigh less because of centrifugal force in proportion to their lateral speed while at rest in relation to the surface of the earth. If an object is moving against the direction of the earth’s spin the net lateral speed will be reduced then the centrifugal force will be reduced causing an increase in the object’s weight. If an object is moving with the direction of the earth’s spin the net lateral speed will be increased then the centrifugal force will be increased causing a decrease in the object’s weight.
  • Wolfie6020 did this with a 500 gram mass and a scale that measures to hundredths of a gram
  • If you take issue with this information, I want to hear about it.  Please email me: mctoon@mctoon.net

 

Optical Gyroscopes

Airplane Inertial Reference Systems

  • An airplane Inertial Reference System (IRS) or Inertial Reference Unit (IRU) uses three gyroscopes, each oriented in a different plane, to measure all three dimensions of the airplane’s rotation.  Large airplanes have multiple IRS’s for measurement confirmation and fail-over.
  • The airplane IRS measures the different rotation in each of these three planes.  The ability of the IRS to accurately and precisely measure rotation is critically important for pilots to safely fly their planes.  Optical gyroscopes have been in use for decades in airplanes and work very reliably.
  • On the poles, the gyroscope set tangent to the surface of the earth measures the highest amount of rotation.  At 30 degrees north or south the rotation is 45 degrees to the tangent so measures half what it did at the pole.  At the equator, this rotation is 90 degrees to the tangent so it measures no rotation.  This means that a single, leveled gyroscope measures in proportion to the sine function of the latitude.  This is the same pattern as a Foucault’s pendulum.
  • Gyroscopes stood vertical to the surface of the earth at the poles measure no spin.  A gyroscope vertical to the surface with its axis pointing north-sound will not measure rotation and a gyroscope set with its axis pointing east-west measures spin according to the cosine of the latitude.
  • This observed behavior is predicted by a rotating spherical earth.  This confirms the spinning earth hypothesis.
  • This topic can get very complicated, rather than summarize more, I recommend reading this article: https://www.theairlinepilots.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=902
  • This angular difference causes each gyroscope to measure a different amount of the whole rotation.  The sum of the rotation in all three planes is 15 degrees per hour.
  • This measurement is what IRSs use to measure an airplane’s latitude.
  • This video shows a pilot in a large commercial airplane covering many aspects of an airplane’s IRS.  He even forces incorrect latitude information and the IRS knows this doesn’t match its measured value so puts itself into an error state: https://youtu.be/tUwHc_wUykk
  • Information on IRSs

Peer-reviewed publications measuring the rotation of the earth

Optical gyroscopes

Measurements not based on optical gyroscopes

 

Organizations dedicated to measuring Earth’s Rotation

 

Government Documents

There are many government documents confirming the rotation of the earth.  Very notably are the corrections to artillery firing angles due to the rotation of the earth, otherwise called the “Coriolis Force”.

  • “THE PRODUCTION OF FIRING TABLES FOR CANNON ARTILLERY”
    • https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/826735.pdf
    • Page 101 (PDF page 103): Table H “CORRECTIONS TO RANGE, IN METERS. TO COMPENSATE FOR THE ROTATION OF THE EARTH”
    • Page 102 (PDF page 104): Table I “CORRECTIONS TO AZIMUTH IN MILS TO COMPENSATE FOR THE ROTATION OF THE EARTH”
  • “Field Artillery Manual Cannon Gunnery”
  • “Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Field Artillery Manual Cannon Gunnery”