# When you look at the Earth from space how come it doesn't look like it's spinning?

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• 1 decade ago

Also depends which direction the point of reference or spacecraft that you are viewing from, is moving, If it is moving with the earth's rotation, the earth will look stationary, but the stars/planets will move. If you in the spacecraft is moving across the earth's rotation, the rotation will be amplified.

• 1 decade ago

Could it possibly be because the view that you have is from an object or platform which is moving very fast, also? Or, could it be that you only looked at it for a minute or so, and didn't wait long enough to detect any changes in the view due to rotation?

When were you last in space, looking down and viewing Earth?

Consider this...

The Earth is spinning completely around once every 24 hours.

And, the Earth is 7,926 miles in diameter which gives us a circumference of 24,887 miles (for a perfect sphere which Earth is not). So the speed of rotation is a bit more than 1,000 miles per hour - right?

Now, if you wanted to view the Earth from a stationary point in space, the first thing you would have to do is get up off the ground, and begin moving the opposite direction from the one in which the Earth is turning, at the same speed that the Earth is turning. So, for all practical purposes, you would be moving over the surface of the earth at about 1,000 miles per hour. At that speed I can assure you that you will notice the rotation of the Earth's surface.

• 1 decade ago

The earth spins pretty fast... about 1k miles an hour. However, it's size slows the appearence of it's rotation.

Now, think of a 3.5" disk spinning at 1000 miles an hour... Pretty fast huh? But a 100' disk will appear to spin slower.

Keep in mind the earth moves in a lineal direction of 67k miles an hour.

Also, those satellites that take pictures of the earth are for the most part trapped in the earth's magnetic feild. When you combine that fact with the flash speed of the pictures taken by the satellites, the pictures the satellites take look still.

• 1 decade ago

The hour hand doesn't look like its spinning on a clock either, but it is. The earth is large. So the speed verses the earth's size is small so it looks as if it isn't even moving.

• 1 decade ago

Usually you are looking at it from a satellite or spacecraft that is moving also. If you look at some of the shuttle mission tape, you will see the earth slowly moving, this is probably more a difference between the shuttle speed and the earths rotation rather than just earth rotation alone.

• L
Lv 4

Have you ever been up in an airplane, say, 25,000 feet? When you look down at traffic on an Interstate, they certainly don't look like they're traveling at 70 mph or better. Same thing with the Earth turning. When you look at anything moving from far away it seems to move slower.

• 1 decade ago

24 hours to spin 360 degrees

and depending on the platform taking the pictures of the Earth

the object may be in geo-syncronous orbit... meaning it stays above the same spot on Earth All the time.

• 1 decade ago

When you look at a clock from where you are, how come the hour hand doesn't look like it's spinning?