Last week, I was ambling around the various topics here when I came across an innocent-looking phrase. It was to do with the initial singularity before the big bang and whoever was writing said that it was "spinning clockwise". Can't remember who it was, or why. Anyway, it got me thinking about "clockwise" in relation to the spin of planets and your perspective on it. I won't go into the gory details, but my musings had the unfortunate result of my husband wandering into the bathroom at 11.30pm to find me with my head on the floor between my feet (muscles screaming in agony) yelling "Is my hand going clockwise or anticlockwise?!
I hope you bunch of reprobates are pleased with yourselves that you've now got my hubby thinking I've lost my one remaining marble.
Now the question to you all. When you come across discussions that are outwith your own field of expertise do you find yourselves doing the same sort of thing and going to further and further extremes to try to work it out for yourselves?
Hi Trixie, I do that all the time. Like that Rape thread, I was jumping all over the net looking for info, I like these boards because some of the topics can be very thought provoking. And I am quite impressed with the knowlege and effort some of the poster exibit.
Citing a "counter-clockwise spin" should clue you in to the intelligence of the person posing this. To actually convey the direction of spin you have to give a specific frame of reference. Imagine a transparent clock. If viewed from behind, through the back of the clock, the hands would be going counter-clockwise.
I would discount the person's explanation of the big bang almost right away. The second question is was matter all spinning in one direction after the big bang. I really doubt this, although this is out of my field of expertise as well. The spin on matter was not imparted until after the big bang when clouds of dust started coming together. Galaxies as a whole have an orientated spin, of course counter/clockwise depends on which side you are observing from. For our solar system, the center of spin was the sun, while minor eddies forming away from the center. These eddies were started by non-uniform gatherings of mass which cause more mass to be attracted to them by gravity. Kind of a snowball effect. The spin of the eddies does not have to be the same as the overall spin of the solar system, although there may be a preference towards secondary eddies spinning the same as the rest of the solar system. Anyway, these secondary eddies resulted in the planets. So planets having opposite spins within a solar system is not against any scientific laws or theories that I know of.
If anyone sees any mistakes, please let me know. Earth science was a while ago and solar system formation was only covered briefly.
My experiment was sort of along the lines of "If I am upside down would an anticlockwise-spinning planet (determined when upright) appear to be spinning clockwise when upside down and also for Australians? Yeah, I know this sounds weird, but it was niggling me and I have great difficulty thinking in 3 dimensions ( I tell myself DNA is four dimensional and it makes life easier for me when it comes to my work). I have been known to prod hubby awake at 3am to test my theories about the path of the Hale-Bopp comet. I'm lucky I'm still alive
I frequently stop to get a feel for how the earth and moon are moving so I can figure what the phase will be the next day. And sometimes, out of the city, it feels like I'm tilted funny cause I'm not properly aligned with the milky way.