3. Earth rotation speeds at the equator and poles --------------------------- Previous - Next - Contents

It is no accident that I keep gravitating towards Darwin every year. It is a very special place. I feel a greater sense of freedom there than anywhere else in Australia. Most of all it are of course the attitude of the people there and the free lifestyle of the Northern Territory generally. But also one feels closer to the rest of the world. Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, even Singapore are nearer than Sydney. Here my mind easily reaches out across the seas to all of Asia and even in the far distance, Europe. Darwin is for Australia the natural gateway to the rest of the World.

When I look back at all the places I lived during my life there are three places that stand out from the rest, Yonki in the PNG Highlands, Bougainville Island (also PNG) and Darwin. At these three places in the Tropics, nearest to the Equator I have felt most exhilarated, excited, experienced every day as an adventure. And every time I moved away, down South to Australia, there was this sense of disappointment, of boredom.
Darwin and the Tropic of Capricorn Don't get me wrong, Australia is a great place to live, with a freedom and a relaxed lifestyle that beats Europe hands down. But it can't match the feelings I (and everybody else who lives there) have in the Tropics.
Why is it ? Partly I believe because of the remoteness of all three places. And perhaps partly too because of the tough climate. Caucasians are out of their comfort zone in this regard, and perhaps just because of that it is an adventure to be there, life in the tropics feels almost surreal.

And perhaps there is something else too, rather quirky.
Imagine two men, one standing right on the South Pole and the other one on the Equator, both standing there motionless, not moving an inch for 24 hours. The man on the South Pole, as a result of the Earth's rotation, slowly, slowly is turned around on his axis until after 24 hours he is back in the same position.
But what happens to the other guy on the Equator ? He too keeps standing on the same spot, but unknowingly is moving at a speed of over 1,600 kilometers per hour, while the Earth makes a complete rotation around its access.

Because the atmosphere around us is moving too, we don't feel a thing of this rotational speed near the Equator, but it is there.   Do we therefore somehow, subconsciously, experience this in a minute way ? Just so that we feel different here, more excited ? Does this differential movement between Pole and Equator produce a slowing down or speeding up of time in space time when we are nearer to the equator ???
(I am not sure about this, as the man on the Pole and the one on the Equator do not move with respect to one another over the 24 hours. But each do move quite differently with regard to the rest of the Universe. Definitely an interesting topic for more thought.)

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