What if the Earth stopped spinning? What would happen?

Every 24 hours (or rather, 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds), the Earth completes a cycle of rotation, revolving around itself at almost 1,700 kilometers per hour.

What if the Earth stopped spinning? What would happen?

However, our planet has been spinning more slowly - something revealed in a scientific study published in 2016 in The Royal Society. 

In the past 28 centuries, that speed would have decreased by 1.8 milliseconds per century, according to the study, causing the days to be 1.8 milliseconds longer every 100 years. 

It doesn't seem like much, but over so long, it implies significant changes. And then the question remains: what if one day the Earth stopped spinning altogether? What would happen?

Just to get an idea of ​​how this slowdown has already affected the Earth, 250 million years ago, each complete rotation was approximately 23 hours. 

After the extinction of the dinosaurs, 63 million years ago, a whole day was about 23 hours and 30 minutes long - until we reach the current almost 24 hours. 

Although the “brake” is not constant, the rotation proceeds a little more slowly, due to some reasons.

The gravitational pull of the Moon, which is gradually becoming more distant from our planet, is the main reason. This causes natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, which, in turn, also slow the Earth down. 

The shape of the planet itself (which is not literally round, being more like a geoid with slightly flat poles) is on the list of causes of the slowdown. 

A survey by Science magazine predicts that in 2100, the year will be 5 milliseconds longer than it currently is. Still, the planet will not reach the point where it will stop spinning altogether. 

According to Dr. Sten Odenwald, NASA's scientist-educator, the likelihood that the Earth will stop spinning is "practically zero in the next billions of years." 

But what would happen if some unimaginable and powerful enough event could stop the rotation of our planet? Here are some hypotheses of what could happen.

Six months of light, six months of darkness

According to Odenwald, according to the current laws of physics, the Earth would never stop "completely" in this natural progress in reducing its speed of rotation. 

But if this happened suddenly, the atmosphere would continue to move along the equator, at the same current speed of almost 1,700 kilometers per hour. 

Thus, cars, stones, trees, buildings, me, you, and everything that was not attached to the rock layers would be sucked into the atmosphere.

Now, if the rotation freeze happened naturally, we would have six months of light and another six months of darkness, because the sun would only rise and set once a year. 

In other words: the planetary day would have a duration of 365 normal days. 

Is that the Earth would maintain its relationship with the Sun in a heliosynchronous orbit - one part of the planet would be bathed in the sun's rays during the day, while the other part would be completely frozen in this long night. 

And, of course, all-weather events would be affected, as well as the visualization of the stars in the sky.

The temperature would depend on its latitude and affect the circulation pattern of the atmospheric winds, which would transit through the poles, instead of the equator, as it happens today. 

As you move along constant lines of the Earth's latitude, you would see the sun's rise or fall in the sky as it moves - and not according to the planet's rotation, as it does today.

The magnetic poles, which oscillate throughout the year, would not have the current balance, and the intensity of the magnetic field would decline to a low residual value. 

There would be no more northern and northern auroras, and the Van Allen Belt would probably disappear, as would our protection against cosmic rays and other high-energy particles. And that could have serious consequences for all living things.

Water at the poles and drought in Ecuador

In an analysis by ESRI, a US company specializing in geographic information, if the Earth stopped spinning altogether, the centripetal force that made the center of the planet “fatter” (and raised the waters by about eight kilometers over billions of years) would no longer be in action. Thus, the equator would be formed by dry land, and the oceans would migrate to the poles.

We would then have only two polar oceans that are totally disconnected. 

In the north, Canada would be entirely underwater, as would all other countries along the imaginary line with the United States' border across the globe. 

Greenland, as well as the plains of northern Siberia, Asia, and Europe would also be underwater.

At the bottom, the new southern ocean would start roughly on a line that currently runs through Canberra, Australia. Argentina, for example, would be completely submerged. 

As the underwater basin around the South Pole is much larger than the basin around the North Pole, the "South Ocean" would have a sea-level about 1.4 kilometers below the "North Ocean".

The central strip of the planet could then become a “mega continent”, uniting South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia in one connected Earth block. 

Gravity, as stated in the other hypothesis above, would also be affected, since the poles, which are approximately 10 kilometers closer to the center of the Earth than at the equator, would have an even stronger attraction power.

Nothing to worry about (for billions of years)

As we see in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still - which, in fact, has to do with an alien invasion - the world would be in shock with something like that. 

Panic and all the economic and social consequences, coupled with natural disasters (and things like objects and people being taken up into the atmosphere) would practically destroy everything we know today on the planet.

The very possibility of life itself would be affected, especially due to the intense solar radiation, without our protective "shield" created by the magnetic field. In other words: it would be a complete disaster for all living beings.

The good news, as stated above, is that there are no conditions, according to the laws of physics, for the Earth to stop "completely". And, even if it reached a natural state close to that, this process would take billions and billions of years to happen. 

Probably our planet would have been destroyed before that when the Sun is "dying". 

Our star will reach the end of its life in about 10 billion years, but in 5 billion years it will become a red giant, with its outer layers expanding to the orbit of Mars - that is, "swallowing" " the land.

Source:- NASA
Madhuranjan Kumar

Blogger | Writes blog on Technology, sports, diseases, games, mobile reviews

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