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Earth’s Rotation Day 2023: Know Date, History & Significance of the Day That Remembers Leon Foucault’s Demonstration of How the Planet Rotates

Earth’s Rotation Day is observed across the world every year on January 8. The day marks French physicist Leon Foucault’s demonstration that the Earth rotated on its axis in 1851. On January 8, 1851, the first Earth demonstration was showcased; hence, the day is marked every year on this date. The Earth’s rotation is the rotation of planet Earth around its own axis, as well as changes in the orientation of the rotation axis in space. Earth rotates eastward in prograde motion. Earth rotates once in about 24 hours with respect to the Sun but once every 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds with respect to other distant stars. What Is Perihelion Day 2023? Know Date & Time in India, Its Significance and All About the Important Celestial Occurrence.

History of Earth’s Rotation Day

The history of the Earth’s Rotation can be traced back to 470 BCE when the ancient Greeks speculated the Earth itself moves. As per records, in the 10th century CE, Muslim astronomers started building astrolabes and other instruments to measure the movement of the Earth relative to the stars. Meanwhile, studies show that the first human depictions of the cosmos date back to 1,600 BCE.

However, in 1851, French physicist Léon Foucault demonstrated how the earth rotates at the World’s Fair. He suspended a lead-filled brass ball from the top of the Panthéon in Paris to show this phenomenon. This device, which is termed the Foucault Pendulum, showed that the plane of the swing of the pendulum would rotate relative to the Earth’s own rotation.

When a Foucault Pendulum starts swinging in one direction, after a few hours, the direction will change. Although it seems like the floor is the stable part of the contraption, and the change is the way the pendulum is swinging, in reality, the change is the fact that the earth beneath the feet is slowly rotating while the pendulum stays the same.

Significance of Earth’s Rotation Day

Earth’s Rotation Day is significant for each one of us as this day is about the importance of the scientific discovery made by Frenchman Leon Foucault. The discovery was so unique and great that today, Foucault’s Pendulums are a fixture in science museums, observatories, and universities all over the world. On this day, we can spend time on some research on how the Earth was formed and how it evolved with time.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 08, 2023 10:01 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).