-2
$\begingroup$

Since the rotation of the earth makes it more flat,due to the centrifugal forces, is it not possible for the force to completely flatten out earth into a plane ?

flat earth

$\endgroup$
5
$\begingroup$

No, because the Earth is currently (approximately) in a hydrostatic equilibrium. There would be tendency for it to flatten if the rotation speed became faster, but since exactly the opposite is happening, the Earth would likely become (even) more spherical in the future.

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Plus one, despite the fact that the Earth is not quite in hydrostatic equilibrium. The Earth's flattening coefficient $f$ does not quite agree with its dynamic form factor $J_2$. The reason for the discrepancy is that the Earth is not quite in hydrostatic equilibrium, thanks to the glaciation that ended about twelve thousand years ago. The Earth is still in the process of recovering from that glaciation, resulting in falling sea levels in northern Canada and in the Baltics. $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Sep 16 '17 at 11:53
2
$\begingroup$

The centrifugal force from the rotation will indeed try to drive the Earth towards becoming a plane. However, this is balanced by gravitational attraction (or surface tension in the case of small spinning liquids) which attempts to make the Earth spherical. The final shape will be a balance between the two, which is an oblate spheroid.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.