January 17, 2007 1:59am CST
There are two planes starting from the same point and going to the opposite direction but same distance at the same speed. I am just wondering if the one going west against the earth's movement will get to the destination point faster than the one going east and moving along with the earth's movement. I just don't understand science and gravity that well so if someone can help me figure it out, I'll be very thankful.
• United States
21 Jun 07
I'm no mathmatician so I don't think I can give you a completely accurate answer here. That being said, I will try to... Firstly, the earth rotates on an axis. It's not just spinning around west but at an angle. This would lessen the effect of a plane flying due west gaining ground because the earth is spinning at an angle. Secondly, the planes would have to have extreme altitude. The farther away from the earth the less the gravitation pull is. I seem to remember that things in orbit such as satelittes make many rotations around the earth in a 24 hour period. So the plan travelling west would probably gain some distance if it were a) travelling very fast, and b) at very high altitude. It would gain even more distance if were travelling in a direction that is completely opposite of the earths rotation. Even then, I think the differences in distance travelled would probably be slight. I'm not even sure how winds and jet streams would factor in here because I honestly don't know enough about them. Minnie Mouse is HOT! filmbuff