The Sun Never Rises
Conceptualizing at greater levels of complexity.
Grandpa, it’s great to be with you so we can watch the sunrise together.
Yes Katie, the sunrise is beautiful, and it is great to be able to share its beauty with you. Did you know, however, that the sun does not actually rise, but instead the earth turns toward the sun?
That seems silly, I can see the sun rising and I don’t see the earth turning. If the earth is turning does that mean we are moving? I don’t see us turning and I don’t feel us moving.
Yes, we are moving nearly 1,000 miles per hour, but we don’t feel any motion because we are moving the same speed as the earth.
But I don’t feel much wind. Wouldn’t it be very windy if we are moving so fast?
The atmosphere—all the air that could blow as the wind—is also turning at the same speed as the earth. Because the earth, the atmosphere, and all of us are turning at the same speed we don’t feel like we are moving.
Hmm, that’s funny. If we are spinning so fast, why don’t we get thrown off the spinning earth. That’s what can happen on a merry-go-round. Why doesn’t that happen to us as the earth spins?
Good question. The answer is that gravity holds us onto the earth and keeps us from flying off.
Now I’m completely confused, before I ask you to explain gravity, I want to know what pushes the earth and keeps the earth spinning and keeps us moving so fast.
Because of inertia, and the speed it originally attained from the rotation of the accretion disks, the earth keeps moving. It keeps rotating around its axis and orbiting around the sun without needing another push.
But Grandpa, I see the sun rising. Just look at it! I don’t know why we need all your fancy words.
That is just an illusion resulting from your first-person perspective.
Grandpa, I give up. Although you keep talking and using new words, I am just getting more confused. It seems like you are trying to answer my questions, but you are not making any sense. Every time I ask a simple question you start talking about something more confusing. You are talking about gravity, inertia, accretion disk, axis, orbits, and first-person perspective and I still don’t understand what you are saying. Let’s just sit here and enjoy watching the sunrise, OK?