Apologies if this is the wrong SE site, this came up and my highschool physics was 30 odd years ago.

So, lets say I have built a working ring space station with spin to give the effect of 1g artificial gravity.

My next task is to build a moonbase, I also want 1g on the moon. So I decided to build my base on circular monorail track say 1k in diameter, the rooms & buildings travel around this track fast enough to give 1g, like the spinning space station.

However there's a constant 1/6th g pulling perpendicular to the forces acting on the "floor" of my moon base.

Would canting the floor to be perpendicular to the product of the two vectors of force cancel this out?

Would the angle be 15 degrees (1/6th of 90)?

If so, would the two vectors make the base feel weird, would the inhabitants notice it?


The vector sum of gravity and centrifugal force has to add up to 1 g; if the force of gravity is 1/6th g, then the rail has to be at an angle of $\sin^{-1}(\frac16)=9.6°$ to the vertical:

enter image description here

The rate of rotation would be quite fast (1 revolution every 45 seconds, roughly: $\omega$=0.14 rad/sec), and there may be some noticeable Coriolis effect for the inhabitants of the moon base - especially if they decide to set up a shooting range. Remember the Coriolis force has a magnitude of $2 m \omega v$, so an object moving at 35 m/s perpendicular to the axis of rotation would experience a Coriolis acceleration of $g$. But otherwise, they won't notice that there are "two vectors". They would only feel the net acceleration.

  • $\begingroup$ Remember the Coriolis force has a magnitude of 2mωv you have me rolling on the floor here :) Thanks for the answer. $\endgroup$ – Binary Worrier Sep 29 '17 at 13:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BinaryWorrier I realized that with "high school physics 30 years ago", you probably didn't... but glad it gave you a chuckle. $\endgroup$ – Floris Sep 29 '17 at 13:48

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.