Is it possible for the earth to gradually or suddenly stop spinning? If so, what would happen?
Serious answers please, I am interested in this
- Vincent GLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
The Earth is actually gradually slowing down. The result of the presence of the Moon, and it affecting Earth though tidal effect, causing the Moon to slowly drift away.
Days were much shorter a couple of billion years ago, and the Moon was much closer to Earth.
What are the consequences? Lower tides, slower tides, longest days. The change is so progressive as to not really affect us.
But in several billion years, the spinning would be so slow, the nights would be so long and would have enough time to get uncomfortably cold. Then again, the sun will probably swell to red giant and toast whatever is left of the Earth by then (5 billions years from now)...
- 1 decade ago
Actually, earth is slowly starting to slow down. Tidal drag from the moon is stretching the length of our day by several thousandths of a second a day. Within about a half billion years or so, the earth and moon will be tidally locked with each other at a 27 day 'day' (so to speak). If enough time passed (and the sun hasn't turned Earth into a puff of soot), earth will be tidally locked to the sun so that its day would also be its 'year' at 365 days.
If earth were to drastically stop spinning, it would be pretty bad. The atmosphere and oceans would still have rotational energy, and would wipe everything (including humans) off the map. You'd also have quite a few earthquakes, as the crust plates will shift. Also, the magnetic field would wither away, as the dynamo effect relies on a rapid spin to exist.
- OR1234Lv 71 decade ago
It certainly won't stop suddenly. It has an enormous rotational kinetic energy (all that moving mass!); that energy would have to be dissipated somehow. Where would it go?
However, it is very very gradually slowing, largely due to ocean tides.
What would happen? Well, for one thing, the rotation of the core is what generates the earth's magnetic field, without which we'd be totally exposed to all the charged particles emitted by the sun. Not good for living things.
- Nimali FLv 51 decade ago
Yes. The tilt causes us to move. The Earthquake that happened in 2004 caused the tilt to move so if another powerful earthquake happened then we would be getting closer to not moving. If that happened Only ONE Hemisphere could have day either the Southern or Northern hemispheree. The other hemispher would have night all the time. And there would be less seasons. Most likely Winter and summer. And Spring and Fall would be no more.
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- 1 decade ago
Um... Earth *is* gradually slowing down & stopping it's spin.
Our day gets a little longer, and the moon gets a little further away - and each is the cause of the other.
- eldudeLv 51 decade ago
if the earth was hit by a HUGE asteroid it could stop spinning in which case you would not survive long enough to know it was hit so really don't worry about it. It would take wow long to stop spinning for some other reason. lighten up man, enjoy the day.
- CirricLv 71 decade ago
Hi. Yes, it is possible. Tidal braking slows the Earth now (both the Moon and Sun exert these forces). But answer 1 has the right idea.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Well, all the refrigerators in the world would explode. Which is bad. Very bad. Because without refrigerators, all the grandfathers would be very sad, and butterflies would turn silver. Have a nice day!
- Anonymous1 decade ago
yas if an astroid or comet hit us. it would be the end of mankind. depending on how big it was the earth could explode or get sucked into the sun