Motion and Its Causes

Force and Newton’s Laws of Motion

What are the effects of the Coriolis force on Earth?

A reference frame, or coordinate system fixed on Earth, is not an inertial frame. The Coriolis force affects the rotation of winds around high and low pressure areas in Earth’s atmosphere. Air flows into a low pressure center. The Coriolis force in the northern hemisphere causes all flows to be deflected to the right, creating a counterclockwise flow around the center. In the southern hemisphere the deflection and rotation are in the opposite direction. On the other hand, air flows away from a high-pressure center, and so the deflection causes a clockwise rotation in the northern hemisphere and the opposite in the southern.

Johannes Kepler studied the orbit of Mars using the measurements made by Tycho Brahe. He concluded that Mars’s orbit is actually an ellipse and not a circle. The elliptical shape of the orbits of the planets in our solar system is called Kepler’s First Law.

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