By K. Nepsa

What would happen if the Earth stopped rotating?

According to scientists, it wouldn’t be good. At the equator, the earth’s rotational motion is at its fastest, about a thousand miles an hour. If that motion suddenly stopped, the momentum would send things flying eastward. Moving rocks and oceans would trigger earthquakes and tsunamis. The still-moving atmosphere would scour landscapes. But not to worry says the Smithsonian. Such an event would require the same amount of energy stored in the momentum of everything on our rotating planet, says Jim Zimbelman, a geologist in the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum, and no physical mechanism on earth can supply that.

On another note…

Every planet in our solar system, except for Venus and Uranus, rotates counter-clockwise as seen from above the North Pole; that is to say, from west to east. This is the same direction in which all the planets orbit the sun. Uranus was likely hit by a very large planetoid early in its history, causing it to rotate “on its side,” 90 degrees away from its orbital motion. Venus rotates backwards compared to the other planets, also likely due to an early asteroid hit, which disturbed its original rotation.

Which begs another question to be asked…if the planet-size asteroid theory is a possibility, could it not theoretically happen to Earth?

Anna Diamond, October 2018, Smithsonian, accessed June 10, 2022,

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