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A matter of rotation...

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posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 06:54 AM
I really have no idea if this is a silly question since my knowledge of space is very limited but I always get a headache trying to figure out the true direction in which the sun and the planets rotate.

I'm an frequent visitor of the Spaceweather website and they always show me a nice picture of the current sunspots and how they are traveling from west to east (left to right).

Something like this:

So why is than that if you are in, let's say, Manila and you take a picture of the setting sun it looks something like this:

Does this mean that the sun's own rotation is at a 90 degrees angle to that of Earth's rotation around it's own axis? Is it suppose to be like that? Curious minds like to know....


posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 07:32 AM

Originally posted by operation mindcrime
Does this mean that the sun's own rotation is at a 90 degrees angle...

No. Due to the nature of the way the solar system was created, the sun, the earth and the earths orbit all rotate the same way, and the same rotational axis (within a small degree).

The effect you are seeing is because you're standing on a ball, and your perception of "up" above your head is at any angle. All around the world, people's heads are pointing in different directions.

This throws out the angle of objects that you look at in space.
We had a thread recently where a similar issue came up about what angle the moon should look like. The answer there is the same as yours... depends where you are (and how high the object is above the horizon)

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 09:18 AM
reply to post by operation mindcrime

Try this:
Hold out your right hand, with your palm out, facing east, with your fingers pointing north.
If you're doing it right, your hand will be sideways, with your little finger (the 'pinky') at the top and your thumb at the bottom.
Now rotate your arm at the shoulder so that your hand follows the path of the Sun across the sky, over your head and down to the western horizon. Keep your fingers pointing north, with your palm out.
When your palm is facing west, with your fingers facing north, notice that your thumb is on top and your pinky is on the bottom; as if it had rotated.

Not only the Sun does this, the Moon and every single constellation does, too.
edit on 17-4-2011 by Saint Exupery because: I'm a horrible proof-reader.


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