If a stone is dropped from a balloon on a still day, does the stone fall directly below the balloon, or to the west or east of it?
Without doing an Internet lookup on this question, I am almost certain that the stone falls straight down from the balloon. In ancient times (although they didn't have balloons then) it was such phenomena as this that supported the flat earth theory; it wasn't obvious that we live on a rotating sphere. We don't actually feel any effects of the rotating earth, the way we feel the effects of sitting on a slowly rotating merry-go-round. From all sensory appearance, it really does seem that we live on a flat stationary earth.
So I think that the stone falls straight down. When it leaves the balloon, it is subject to the same rotational effects as the ballon is subject to.
Posted by Penny
on 2005-07-07 18:09:52