Sarah
Lv 7
Sarah asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 4 years ago

# Scientific question?

If Earth rotated clockwise, would the clocks rotate counterclockwise or would the definitions of each word reverse? Would Venus rotate counterclockwise?

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• oyubir
Lv 6
4 years ago

Well, as Steve stated, Earth is not rotating clockwise or counterclockwise, since you have first to specify from where you are looking at it.

But, that being said, I see what you mean.

And the answer to you question is: yes, if Earth was rotating the other way, the clock would be doing so as well. So definition of "clockwise" and "counterclockwise" would also be reversed.

For a simple reason: the clock hand (the small one; the first that was invented) is an imitation of the shadow of a sundial. And in the north hemisphere, where clock was invented, shadow turns clockwise.

(the shadow indicated first the west at the morning (9am), rises to reach it maximum point at noon, and then go down again to the east. With west on the left, north upward, and east on the right. One could object that where is west, north and east depends on where you are looking from. Yes. The reverse could have been possible: that could be have been right in the morning, down at noon, and left in the afternoon. But well, that does not change the "clockwise" rotation. And since at noon the sun is at its highest point, I guess it was more natural to have the hand pointing up at noon).

So, yes, if the Earth was rotating the other way, the "clockwise" would do so as well. As long as the clock is still invented in the north hemisphere.

This last remark is another way you could have asked the question without any need to imagine another rotation of the Earth : If the first clock had been invented in the south hemisphere, then "clockwise" would have been our "counterclockwise".

Since in the south hemisphere, the shadow of a sundial is rotating counterclockwise.

But the first clock was invented in the northern hemisphere (nobody know for sure whether it was in France, in Italy, in the actual Belgium, or Netherlands. But, well, it was in Europe). Where shadows turns clockwise.

• oubaas
Lv 7
4 years ago

Seen by northern emisphere : cw

seen by southern emisphere : ccw

..or the upside down

Do you think that crossing the line will make r watch reversing its way of turning ?

• 4 years ago

Reversing the rotation of the planet and the direction in which a clock turns are unrelated.

• Anonymous
4 years ago

Steve speaks truth. Depends which pole you observe from space. Same with Venus.

But what has direction of a clock's rotation got to do with time anyway? "Clockwise" only refers to a clock's rotation, if the earth's rotation was reversed the clock would still rotate "clockwise".

Rotating "clockwise" is just a standard way to make a clock face, meaning rotating right when observing the hands at the top of the dial.