Rotating Events in Our Time

Most people know that the Earth revolves around the Sun each 24 hours. However most people don’t know that the speed at which the Earth rotates differs slightly. A day may appear longer or shorter than you would expect. This is why the timekeeping atomic clocks which maintain standardized time must be regularly adjusted by adding or subtracting seconds. This is referred to as the leap second. This article will clarify what the leap second is and why it’s crucial to our daily routines.

Precession is a standard rotating event. It is the cyclical wobble of the axis of Earth, similar to the toy top spinning slightly off-center. This axial shift relative to fixed stars (inertial space) is observed for a period of 25,771.5 years. It’s also responsible in changing the directions of cyclones across the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Other rotating events include the Chandler wobble, free nutation and polar motion.

The speed of the rotator can be affected by other elements, like earthquakes, weather conditions, and other recurring events. If the core of the Earth rotates faster, the day appears to be shorter. This change is caused by the tidal forces that are acting on surface of the Earth and gravity pulls from other objects within the Solar System, such as Jupiter and Saturn. This effect is why the Earth’s rotating speed has to be accounted for when creating fun park rides like Ferris wheels and carousels.

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