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?
Imagine a ballon above the equator, looking down at the earth above the north pole. The earth and ballon are rotating to the east (counterclockwise.) The ballon is moving faster than the ground because it is farther from the center of the earth.
As the stone falls it will still be moving faster counterclockwise than the ground even as it accelerates downward. My feeling is that this will cause it to land EAST of where it started from.
Posted by Jer
on 2005-07-07 19:45:23