Will The Earth Stop Rotating? ```Name: Unknown Status: N/A Age: 13 Location: N/A Country: N/A Date: 1999 - 2000 ``` Question: Will the earth stop rotating? Replies: Yes, but not for a long long long time. (If I remember correctly, it is currently slowing down by about half a second per century.) As the earth rotates it gets stretched and squeezed by tidal forces. The energy required to do this work comes from the earth's rotation. Tim Mooney The simple answer to this is No. It is believed that the Earth's day will be twice as long as it is now, in about 5 thousand million years time, but there is too much momentum in the Earth to stop it from rotating. By the way, at the moment the Earth is rotating its fastest since the late 1920s, having lost approximately 0.63 milliseconds per day in the last 12 months (to June 28, 2001) against atomic time, based on preliminary International Earth Rotation Service data; compared with 3.13 milliseconds per day in 1972, and 3.89 milliseconds per day in 1912. The Earth GAINED on atomic time in 1929 by 0.35 ms/day. Howard Barnes. Rescop - Because of tidal friction.... yes it will. In fact, it is slowing as we ride on it now. Actually, it will not stop, but rather the period of rotation will equal its period of revolution. I do not have the number at hand, but I seem to recall that each (solar) year is .00024 seconds slower than the year one century earlier. The number may not be correct, but the concept is. In the same way that the moon has rotates around the earth, the earth will eventually rotate around the sun... if the sun does not supernova first! Larry Krengel There is a small tidal drag on the earth caused by the gravitational forces of the moon and sun which have a small effect on the earth's rotation, but the effect, while measurable, is exceedingly small. On the other hand, the reason the moon always presents the same face to the earth it is believed was caused by tidal drag of the earth on the moon, which is much greater because the mass of the moon is so much smaller than that of the earth. Vince Calder Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs