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Author Topic: Do all bodies in the universe rotate clockwise?  (Read 3262 times)

Offline annie123

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Do all bodies in space rotate clockwise and if so why? And - why do we make clocks all go 'clockwise'? Would a civilisation that was primarily left handed have made clock hands go the other way?


 

Offline RD

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Re: Do all bodies in the universe rotate clockwise?
« Reply #1 on: 04/12/2013 01:03:45 »
Would a civilisation that was primarily left handed have made clock hands go the other way?

Isn't that a north-centric thing : in the northern-hemisphere the shadow of the gnomon on a horizontal sundial goes clockwise.
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Do all bodies in the universe rotate clockwise?
« Reply #2 on: 04/12/2013 01:27:05 »
Quote from: annie123
Do all bodies in space rotate clockwise and if so why?
Whether a body rotates clockwise or counter clockwise depends on your position relative to the body. An observer located above one pole sees the body rotating in the sense opposite to that observed by an observer located above the other pole.

Venus rotates in a sense opposite to all other bodies in the solar system.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Do all bodies in the universe rotate clockwise?
« Reply #3 on: 04/12/2013 10:26:59 »
Current theories suggest that most bodies in our solar system condensed out of a protoplanetary disk, which would have developed an axis of rotation which was an average of the angular momentum of matter in that part of the dust cloud.

This would have resulted in the Sun, most planets and most moons rotating in the same direction, in roughly the same plane.

Various gravitational interactions between planets - plus direct collisions - can result in planets and planetoids being thrown into orbits with different inclinations, and becoming tidally locked, which would disguise some of the original chaotic patterns in the protoplanetary disk.

However, bodies which were outside the protoplanetary disk, such as Kuiper Belt objects, and objects from the Oort cloud (which includes todays comets) would have a more spherical distribution, and could approach in any direction. If these were captured by a planet as a moon, they could take on any orbit, including retrograde orbits.

As for the origin of "clockwise", I understand that early clockmakers in the Northern Hemisphere designed the position of the numbers on the clock face to imitate the numbers on a sundial. However, sundials in the Southern Hemisphere are built facing the opposite direction (ie facing the equator=North), and have the numbers inscribed in the opposite direction.
 

Offline annie123

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Re: Do all bodies in the universe rotate clockwise?
« Reply #4 on: 06/12/2013 21:23:21 »
So does 'clockwise' mean the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere? If i were in Australia would I see 'clockwise' as opposite? If so how does this affect communication?
 

Offline RD

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Re: Do all bodies in the universe rotate clockwise?
« Reply #5 on: 07/12/2013 01:43:13 »
So does 'clockwise' mean the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere? If i were in Australia would I see 'clockwise' as opposite? If so how does this affect communication?

Australian clocks are the same, but their sundials are different from ones in the northern hemisphere ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundial#Sundials_in_the_Southern_Hemisphere
 

Offline annie123

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Re: Do all bodies in the universe rotate clockwise?
« Reply #6 on: 04/03/2014 01:59:55 »
So, if clocks as we know them had been invented by someone in the southern hemisphere would they be going in the other direction?
 

Offline RD

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Re: Do all bodies in the universe rotate clockwise?
« Reply #7 on: 04/03/2014 08:09:50 »
So, if clocks as we know them had been invented by someone in the southern hemisphere would they be going in the other direction?

Yes if they also copied the direction of a horizontal sundial ...

Quote from: sundials.co.uk/faq
A29 ... a horizontal sundial with the numbers increasing in an anti-clockwise direction will have been designed for the southern hemisphere
http://www.sundials.co.uk/faq.htm
« Last Edit: 04/03/2014 08:15:05 by RD »
 

Offline tonyj18

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Re: Do all bodies in the universe rotate clockwise?
« Reply #8 on: 05/03/2014 00:56:10 »
No they rotate Counter clockwise except for Venus which rotates very slowly in a clockwise direction, recent theories suggest Venus has only recently joined our solar system
 

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Re: Do all bodies in the universe rotate clockwise?
« Reply #8 on: 05/03/2014 00:56:10 »

 

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