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The Earths Rotation The Earth is rotating around an axis called its rotational axis Some objects rotate about a horizontal axis like a rolling log Some objects such as a skater rotate about a vertical axis The Earths axis is tipped over about 235 from vertical How do we define up and down in space What would vertical mean For the Earth we can think of vertical as straight up and down with respect to the plane in which the Earth orbits the Sun called the ecliptic Earths rotational axis always points in the same direction so that the North Pole points towards the star Polaris Think of the Earth as a spinning top tipped over to one side The Earth rotates around once in 24 hours - thats a rate of 1000 miles per hour The time it takes for the Earth to rotate completely around once is what we call a day Its Earths rotation that gives us night and day The combined effect of the Earths tilt and its orbital motion result in the seasons Bibliography Science News March 1995 Astonomers weekly 1998
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