(Submitted November 07, 1996)
How does the Earth manage to spin on its axis?
The Earth spins on its axis because of conservation of angular momentum. The
classic example of this is a figure skater. When a figure skater pulls in her
arms, she spins faster. The Earth formed when gas left over from making the
Sun condensed into the planets. As this gas cooled and condensed, it started
to spin faster. Now that it is spinning (and not condensing any more), it
will keep spinning at a steady rate unless something stops it.
Andy Ptak and the Ask an Astrophysicist team
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