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Are we standing upside down?

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mmkilani

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I need to know if at any time in the earth position of orbiting and rotation the plants, animals including humans and non-living things are standing in an inverted position or rather upside down relative to the space environment? :?
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
There is no up or down in space.

Here on earth, down is toward the center of the planet.
 
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adrenalynn

Guest
Who was it who said "up is the direction your feet aren't pointing in" ? I thought I knew, but darned if I can find it.

Anyway - it's all just reference frame from zero gravity. Your feet naturally point towards the earth's core here, but in "Zero-G's", there isn't any frame of reference other than your own. "the direction your feet aren't pointing in"
 
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FlatEarth

Guest
mmkilani":2h682guv said:
I need to know if at any time in the earth position of orbiting and rotation the plants, animals including humans and non-living things are standing in an inverted position or rather upside down relative to the space environment? :?
Only if you live in China. :mrgreen:
 
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Technetium

Guest
It depends on relativity.
If you're saying, are we upside down relative to Earth. We would have to stand on our heads...
But it doesn't work for anything else, as space has no direction, no up or down.

You can only be upside down relative to gravities pull.
 
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captdude

Guest
For a down reference, being in space is like being in the exact center of our planet. There is no down without a reference frame of some sort.
 
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Gravity_Ray

Guest
Before we got married my wife and I were on a date and we were both pretty plastered. So when we got back to her house, we lay in the front lawn while I waited for her to sober up a bit. While we were laying there and talking and looking at the Moon I mentioned to her that the Moon's crescent is actually the shadow of our planet that the sun is casting. Then I told her that based on that shadow we are actually upside down and if she looks out into space she can just imagine falling into space.

Well I thought I was being funny, but suddenly she went all quiet and then barffed her ass off. Then she got such a headache that she had to go inside because she really started feeling that she would be falling into space.

:lol:

Poor girl, I can still remind her of that night and she gets all green and sick looking. So if you really want to think of it that way, yes we are standing upside down and may just fall out into space.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Gravity_Ray":3ladduvk said:
Before we got married my wife and I were on a date and we were both pretty plastered. So when we got back to her house, we lay in the front lawn while I waited for her to sober up a bit. While we were laying there and talking and looking at the Moon I mentioned to her that the Moon's crescent is actually the shadow of our planet that the sun is casting.
Which sadly (sorry to spoil your story :? ) is 100% incorrect.
The lunar crescent is because that is the only part of the moon that is illuminated by the sun.

The only time the shadow of the earth is involved is during a lunar eclipse, which can only occur during a full moon, when the earth passes between the sun and the moon.

No wonder she barfed! :lol: :D
 
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Gravity_Ray

Guest
MeteorWayne":27ue0831 said:
Gravity_Ray":27ue0831 said:
Before we got married my wife and I were on a date and we were both pretty plastered. So when we got back to her house, we lay in the front lawn while I waited for her to sober up a bit. While we were laying there and talking and looking at the Moon I mentioned to her that the Moon's crescent is actually the shadow of our planet that the sun is casting.
Which sadly (sorry to spoil your story :? ) is 100% incorrect.
The lunar crescent is because that is the only part of the moon that is illuminated by the sun.

The only time the shadow of the earth is involved is during a lunar eclipse, which can only occur during a full moon, when the earth passes between the sun and the moon.

No wonder she barfed! :lol: :D
hahaha So I made her sick and gave her bad information. I'll tell her.
 
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adrenalynn

Guest
Darn it! Beat me to it. I was going to note that "I just barfed - and I've not even been drinking!" ;)
 
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netarch

Guest
Back to the original question...

Perhaps what mmkilani is really asking is "has the Earth inverted it's poles in the last 3/4 billion years? Has it 'flipped'?"

Well, that get's a bit complicated, since plate tectonics shifts the crust of the Earth around quite a bit. Check out the YouTube video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g5EyKO4L0g[/youtube]

So, you can see that even without the Earth flipping it's spin axis, given enough time a particular land mass may well move from the North pole to the South pole. But has the Earth ever flipped its spin axes?

And let's not even consider what happens when the Earth's magnetic poles flip - which happens fairly "regularly" - about every 200,000 years or so - a bunch in the 4 billion years the Earth's been here.

But flip its spin axis? The cause, as well as the side effects, would be, shall we say, a bit catastrophic.
 
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CalliArcale

Guest
Fascinating article, but he left a lot out with respect to magnetic poles. They *do* wander, albeit not as much as scientists used to think (before continental drift became accepted). The motion of the North Magnetic Pole has been tracked across Canada in the past century, and it has moved more than could be accounted for strictly by the motion of the North American plate, especially since it moves in relation to the geographic pole. The reason for this has nothing to do with the crust at all; it's the core that's responsible here. The Earth's magnetic field is not really comparable to a bar magnet; it is not a fixed magnetic field but rather one driven by a dynamo. Conductive material flows around inside the Earth's core, generating a magnetic field, especially as it rotates within and interacts with the solar magnetic field. This is an active process, and subject to a certain amount of chaos. This is why the poles wander, why they can flip, and why they can disappear altogether. In fact, scientists predict that during the next flip, spurious poles will appear at seemingly random points on the Earth, with no relation to the rotational axis. This is broadly similar to what is observed during a magnetic field reversal on the Sun -- the magnetic field is, for a time, seriously screwed up. (That's what drives solar maximum.)

The article also points out that magnetic and rotational axes tend to be closely aligned. This is true, and the cases where it is not suggest strongly that some terrible catastrophe occurred in the planet's history. One of the most famous is Uranus, which has a very severe axial tilt for such a large planet (it's basically flopped over on its side). The magnetic axis is inclined 59 degrees relative to the rotational axis. Even weirder, Uranus' magnetic axis doesn't run through the planet's center -- it's off by about a third of the planet's radius, which is really a hell of a long ways. The planet's magnetic field is thus highly irregular. It is an extremely strange planet, and many planetary scientists have speculated about some massive impact in its history.
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
Yeah, um, half the moon is always lit, isn't it? :? Except in a lunar eclipse, right?

I still need to buy one of those "Earth/moon/Sun" multi globe thingies because I still can't wrap my head around the fact that the Moon is tidally locked with Earth and as it orbits only shows the same side to us. It bends my brain almost as much as the expanding fabric of space itself and there being no center or edge to our Universe.

Btw, ETs approaching our planet may well consider Antarctica and the South Pole as, "the top of the world". We have a North/South bias. North is 'up', South is 'down'.

And that begs another question. If one is in the Southern Hemisphere, does a compass point to magnetic North, or magnetic South? I hope that's not a dumb question. :)
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
The south pole of the compass (the end labeled N) points to the north pole, and the end labeled S points to the S magnetic pole. Since in the southern hemisphere, the south magnetic pole is stronger, the compass will be more strongly influenced by the precise position of the the south pole, but the compass will still basically point N and S as it should.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
3D expriments are cool. Get a kid to help you with this one.

Get a large orange. You hold that. If you get a real old one, it might even be blue and green!l That's the earth.
Get a marble, paint a dot on it, and have the kid stand 7 feet away with the marble, holding it so the dot faces you. That's the moon. Have him shuffle to the side holding the marble while he makes a 7 foot radius circle and faces you the whole time. As long as he doesn't spin the marble as he circles, the dot will always face you :)
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
Yeah, but, doesn't the moon rotate as it orbits? If not, then the tidally locked position is easily visualized, but I thought the Moon rotated. No?
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Yes, it rotates exactly once for each orbit.

If it didn't, 15 days from now we'd see the other side.

In my 3D experiment above, that would be like the kid facing the dot at a fixed point, like a tree in the distance instead of at you (the earth/orange). It would then not be rotating, and you would see the non-dot side halfway around.
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
I need to get one of those multiple globe gadgets! :lol:
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
No, you need to do the 3D experiments. I have several more :) :) :)
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
Just kidding around. Yeah, I visualized it. It's cool. Even with the Moon rotating, it still shows the same side. Got it. No sarcasm, really got it. ;)
 
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dryson

Guest
If we were wouldn't are kilts fly up over our head's? That's probably why the Scots live in Scotland and not New Zealand.
 
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