June 03, 2010

Is The Third Rock Expanding?

According to this little video, it did/was/is.

Any scientists out there brave enough to concur? Or rebut?

It seems plausible from where I'm sitting.

Though it conflicts with the video I posted a few weeks back that talked about planet earth slamming into planet Nibiru, which supposably caused the oceans to form. (Among other things. Planets colliding are, after all, a fairly traumatic event).

Just when I thought I had a handle on things......



defender said...

The earth rotates on its axis once each day. Since the circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles, a spot on the equator rotates at approximately 1037.5646 miles per hour (1037.5646 times 24 equals 24,901.55) (1669.8 km/h).

At the North Pole (90 degrees north) and South Pole (90 degrees south), the speed is effectively zero since that spot rotates once in 24 hours, a very, very slow speed.

To determine the speed at any other latitude, simply multiply the cosine of the degree latitude times the speed of 1037.5646.

Thus, at 45 degrees north, the cosine is .7071068 so multiply .7071068 times 1037.5464 and the speed of the rotation is 733.65611 miles per hour (1180.7 km/h).

For other latitudes...

10° - 1021.7837 mph (1644.4 km/h)
20° - 974.9747 mph (1569.1 km/h)
30° - 898.54154 mph (1446.1 km/h)
40° - 794.80665 mph (1279.1 km/h)
50° - 666.92197 mph (1073.3 km/h)
60° - 518.7732 mph (834.9 km/h)
70° - 354.86177 mph (571.1 km/h)
80° - 180.16804 mph (289.95 km/h)

In addition to the rotational speed of the earth spinning on its axis, the earth is also speeding at about 66,660 miles per hour (107278.87 km/h) in its revolution around the sun once ever 365.2425 days.

Centrefugal forces at work?

Captain Ranty said...


It could well be the centrefuge effect. But if it carries on (for another billion years) we will be the size of Jupiter.

If I live that long I will own a substantial piece of land! I'll try to remember to keep measuring the distance between my house and my garden shed. If the shed gets further away then your theory will be proved. :)

Also, with the planet stretching, and given that we are in a closed environment and therefore cannot "make" any more water, the Atlantic will only be ankle deep. The whales won't like it, that's for sure.

On the upside, we won't have to build any more subs or warships.


Frank Davis said...

I saw this video a year or so back. And it seemed very plausible at the time. The continents do look as if they might all fit together.

But thinking about it a bit, I thought that the same reasoning could apply to any pattern of islands on the surface of the Earth, and not just the ones we've got at the moment. Put the process into reverse, and contract the planet, and you would find all the islands (which stay the same size) would finally all come together when the planet's spherical surface area equalled the sum of the surface areas of the islands.

The video shows something that is entirely possible. But it would be equally true of any other arrangement of continents and islands. There's nothing remarkable about it at all really.

Captain Ranty said...

I thought same thing Frank.

Years ago (when I were nobbut a lad) I thought that if you removed all the water you could make the land masses fit. Badly, but close enough for government work.

I suppose it will remain just one of several theories until someone convinces us al that he or she is absolutely correct.

When you consider just how briefly we grace the planet, it is hardly worth contemplating.

Bigger fish to fry, etc, etc.


SaltedSlug said...

Ah yes, Neal Adams: the chap who pretty much single handedly revived the fortunes of the comic book industry and, in his spare time, made up his own version of science. Got to admire that.

Anyhow, Steven Novella had an interview with him a while back and gave a thorough critique of his claims: here

Mrs Rigby said...

Seems as plausible as any other theory that we can't go back to prove/disprove.

And the end product? In how many millions of years will we go bang? Or will it be tomorrow?

Captain Ranty said...

Thanks Salty.

I read the claim then the counter argument. It seems that Mr Adams is wrong on several fronts. He got a couple of things kinda sorta right but his more outrageous claims were not supported by that thing we like: evidence.

It wasn't a wasted post. I learned a thing or two.


Captain Ranty said...

Mrs R,

It better not be tomorrow. I've got my gutters to sort out.

Having read through the debate at Salty's link, I was pleased that there was no "appeal to authority". I appreciate that people train for years to be scientists but that doesn't make them right automatically. Debate is usually healthy.

In the great scheme of things we are but babies scrabbling about in the dark. We know almost nothing.


SaltedSlug said...


Glad to be of help.
Steve Novella is very good on that point of making sure everything is explained on its merits rather than by appealing to some assumed authority figure.
I would recommend his podcast if you're interested in this stuff as they go through the science and not-so-science weekly in a similar vain. The blog is top-rate too.


James Higham said...

We'll soon need to get off it, methinks.

Cate Munro said...

Oh bloody hell - I don't understand all that number crunching in the above comments . . .but the video is pretty impressive! lol

SaltedSlug said...

Then I shall provide an executive summary:

Comic book artist reckons the world has gotten (a lot) bigger and continues to do so. He also has novel opinions on the nature of evolution, geology, magnetism and gravity.

He is wrong.

Or to be completely scientifically honest: He is very probably wrong, and if he were right, pretty much everyone and everything else in science would have to be wrong.

On the other hand, he did do the X-Men so I shall listen politely anyway.

Angry Exile said...

Thinks a Platypus is a marsupial as well. Sure, what it is doesn't change his point so he can call it Mabel if he wants. But doesn't it say something about the depth of his research that he's said something roughly equivalent to calling a tiger a type of dog.

J said...

The size of the earth (and Sun and any planet) should depend upon its mass amongst other things. The bigger it is the more it will contract under its own gravity. However as it contracts its temperature increases, and this acts as a counterbalance and should stop it from contracting.

Intuitively, I would expect the Earth to be shrinking due to energy radiated into space. The centrifugal effect causes it to bulge out in the middle slightly more than it does at the poles such that it is not a perfect sphere but it shouldn't cause it to expand.