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Main » 2011 » August » 14 » Why Is Earth Round???
Why Is Earth Round???
QUESTION : Why Is Earth Round???
An interesting question. Now, the first question that comes to my suspicious mind is "IS the earth round?" And the answer is no, at least not perfectly round. But it is round compared to your average cube, that is for sure! Now, my understanding of how solar systems form is pretty inadequate; all I can tell you is what I see on "Nova." But basically, I guess it has to do with gravity, which is a CENTRAL FORCE. What that means is that gravity pulls things together along a straight line, and the more massive one of the things is, the stronger it pulls. When the earth was forming, it was basically a big ball of dust left over from an exploded sun (a supernova). Gravity caused a lot of the matter to condense into a big fiery ball (our sun), but some of the dust was far enough away from the Sun so that the stronger forces were between planetary dust particles and not the sun. SO, they swirled together into a ball. You can see something similar when you make a painting with one of those "spin-art" machines; you put a card on the spinner, which whirls around real fast, and then you squirt paint on the card. The whirling causes the paint to go out away from the center (this is like the explosion of the supernova) and droplets go out along an interesting path until they stop, which happens when the spinning force is equal and opposite to the force which attaches paint to the card (this is like gravity). Now, if the force attaching paint to the card were not so strong,eventually the drops would get bigger - "planets."
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