I just wonder why, if we ourselves could stay still in the air (or just float in the air using something such as a hot air balloon). Why doesn't the world rotate around us, allowing us to travel around the world in 24 hours?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs in physics.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$
    – arkaia
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ The answer is inertia, anyway. youtube.com/watch?v=3gNkgj9h2oM $\endgroup$
    – arkaia
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ Since latitude of circumnavigation is not specified, the question is underconditioned. E.g. a North or South Pole will give you a trivial "Round the world" trip. Same for jet stream travel. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ I originally answered this in some detail on physics.stackexchange.com but they closed my answer. It now resides at astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/13088/… $\endgroup$
    – user967
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


This question belongs to physics. Objects tend to keep their velocity (direction and speed). So, if you're standing on the surface of the Earth, you're already traveling with the surface. When you take off on a hot air balloon, you keep that extra velocity due to the rotation of the Earth. The surface won't rotate underneath the balloon in flight.

  • $\begingroup$ Why the downvote? This is correct. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ And when you move to different latitudes: Coriolis effect! $\endgroup$
    – Stephen
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 15:02

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