Why Does the World Spin?


Quick Answer

According to University of California Santa Barbara ScienceLine, the world spins because it was formed from debris that was swirling around the Sun on a stable orbit. After the material clustered to form the Earth, the planet’s original motion was retained. Thus, the Earth maintains a stable orbit of fixed radius, in line with Kepler’s law and Newton’s laws.

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Full Answer

Scientists believe that the early Earth rotated slower until a large object the size of Mars hit it, knocking off a portion of material that eventually formed the Moon, states NASA’s SpacePlace. Scientists reckon that a day in the life of primitive Earth lasted only 6 hours. As the Earth spins, the gravity of the Moon causes tidal waves in the oceans. As the Earth rotates and oceans rise and fall, the rate of rotation declines. As explained by UCSB ScienceLine, gravity draws the Earth towards the Sun. If the Earth never rotated with respect to the Sun, the force of gravity would pull it into the Sun. On the contrary, the Earth continues to rotate sideways with respect to the core of the Sun at 3 km/second. Thus, the world is spinning at exactly the right speed not to cave into the Sun or overcome the Sun’s pull of attraction and escape the Solar System.

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