Will a building smash into me?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Waynewright, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Waynewright Registered Member

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    Compared to what I've read on this forum, my question seems pretty silly, but it has plagued me for a long time and I would like an answer.

    We all know the earth turns from west to east. Imagine you could hover dead still in one place in the air by levitation, or otherwise maybe in a helicopter. Lets say you are hovering on the east side of a large building, say 10m away from the building. Now as the earth turns, the building should move towards you and bump into you.

    Will this in fact happen or will you move with the earth - because the earth's atmosphere moves with the earth?? - and stay at a distance of 10m from the building? Obviously when your feet are on the ground, you move with the earth, but if you could hover in the air.....?:shrug:
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    But...but...you can't do that!
     
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  5. Letticia Registered Senior Member

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    You move with the earth - because the earth's atmosphere moves with the earth. That's why helicopters can hover without buildings flyswatting them, and things drop from tall buildings fall parallel to walls instead of curving away.
     
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  7. Enmos Staff Member

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    You mean counterclockwise..

    How do you think the pilot will orientate himself ? He will orientate himself in relation to the building or any other landmark (that is attached to the earth and will thus move at the same pace.)

    Edit: By the way, what is still.. ? In relation to what ?
     
  8. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    no it wouldnt, because the air around you is ALSO moving. Think of it like a geo stationary satlite orbating the earth as the earth goes round
     
  9. Waynewright Registered Member

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    Still in relation to the moving building

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  10. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    it is posable to stay still in realtion to the earth by flying towards the west at the same speed the earth rotates, alot of planes tried it on newyears eve in the year 2000 and in this case yes you would smash into the building but if you just hover then your still moving or rather not if your do it in realationship to the earth
     
  11. Enmos Staff Member

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    So the pilot will actually aim and fly into the building on purpose ? lol
     
  12. clusteringflux Version 1. OH! Valued Senior Member

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    Wha?
    you're confused and are confusing others. The sun rises in the east where I live.
     
  13. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    23,049
    what did i say?

    I am sure i said you would be flying east
     
  14. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    23,049
    ops sorry my mestake
    i ment to say flying east

    Sorry
     
  15. Waynewright Registered Member

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    Yes, but the falling object hits the earth in seconds. If the building were high enough and the object fell for long enough, would the building not move towards the object as it fell? The earth moves 1 degree in about 4 minutes, I'm not sure what that equates to in meters?
     
  16. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    23,049
    if you drop it in freefall then no, it would DEFINITLY hit the building because as i said the AIR is moving. Actually i have no idea because the air is not moving at the same speed as the earth so it depends, thats why parashoots have steering
     
  17. Waynewright Registered Member

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    Originally Posted by Asguard
    it is posable to stay still in realtion to the earth by flying towards the west at the same speed the earth rotates, alot of planes tried it on newyears eve in the year 2000 and in this case yes you would smash into the building but if you just hover then your still moving or rather not if your do it in realationship to the earth

    Wouldn't the planes fly west in order to chase the sun and prolong the day? I don't think a passenger plane can fly fast enough? If you flew east at the same speed that the earth rotates, you would effectively stay in the same place above the earth like a geostationary satellite? Does anyone know at speed in meters/second the earth rotates?
     
  18. Waynewright Registered Member

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    Another thought along the same lines - if I jump high enough on a trampoline and stay in the air for long enough, would my trampoline have moved along by the time I come down causing me to land on the ground. I just can't believe that the air in which I am "suspended" will move me along at the same speed as the trampoline, which is fixed to the ground.
     
  19. Nesm Registered Senior Member

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    You cannot move further down the carriage of a train just by jumping straight up, and landing a little further down each time. Same with the earth.
    If you're on the roof of the train however, then you'd make it to the back very quickly by jumping straight up.

    Forgot to say: You'll only land in the same place (if jumping inside the train) assuming a constant speed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  20. Waynewright Registered Member

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    Thanks Nesm. Good analogy, but please explain why? Is it because you are moving at the same speed as the train when you jump up so you land on the same spot?
     
  21. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    51,714
    There is no such thing as "still". Even if you rotated with the Earth, the Earth is still rotating around the sun. You can easily set up conditions to smash into a building, but it wouldn't mean anything.
     
  22. Waynewright Registered Member

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    Why would it make a difference if you were on top of the train?
     
  23. Nesm Registered Senior Member

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    Once inside the moving train, you are moving at a constant velocity. When you jump up, you maintain that velocity. Should the train speed up or slow down, the difference in velocity would result in a new landing spot.

    If you're on top of the train, you are moving at a constant velocity. When you jump up, an external force (air resistance) causes you to slow down. The train passes beneath you...
     

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