This is a very interesting question! One
major difference that would affect our lives is
that the sun would rise in the West and set in
the East. As long as our planet still rotating
the same way around the sun (counterclockwise if
you are looking down on the North Pole), the
seasons would still be the same.
Another big difference is that the
wind and ocean “gyres” (the loops that wind and
ocean currents move in) would be reversed. An
important factor in our weather patterns is
the “Coriolis Effect”. This phenomenon causes
the winds at the equator to blow toward the west
(opposite the direction of the earth’s spin at
the equator). The winds loop around and blow
from west to east at 30 degrees north and south
of the equator. This is why the central United
States gets “westerly” (from west to east)
weather systems. This would be reversed if Earth
were spinning the opposite direction.
If the earth abruptly changed its rotational
direction, probably many things we see every day
would be destroyed. Skipping over the
transition, however, an earth rotating in the
opposite direction would, among other things,
cause the sun, moon and stars to appear to rise
in the west and set in the east.
This earth also would probably have much
different climate and weather patterns than we
have now. The world's weather systems move with
the earth's rotation, so patterns on the
continents would reverse. Southern California's
mild, dry climate might change into Florida's
hot, wet and stormy climate, for example. Ocean
currents like the Gulf Stream would flow in
opposite directions, probably upsetting things
like the thermohaline circulation. Much of the
North Atlantic would become much colder.
Since the pattern of the continents in
to the currents and air flows would be changed,
it is hard to say exactly what climate would
exist where. Whole agricultural area would
likely have to move or the farmers plant new
crops, and many cities would grow in new
favorable areas, while others would decline.
The earth has what we call a pro-grade SPIN.
That means that the direction of spin of Earth
looking down from the North pole into the plane
of the ecliptic is spin anti- clockwise --- THE
SAME DIRECTION the earth ORBITS the Sun ( anti-
So, if the earth was on retrograde rotation,
then it would spin in opposite direction of
earth revolution orbit around the Sun.
The main effect is that the stars , the Sun
and planets of the night sky would rise in West
and set in East; the seasonal variation would
not be too much as they are governed mainly by
earth’s orbit about Sun, and not its spin,
although could have some other effects, such as
tides raised on Earth due to Moon.
All planets in the Solar system orbit in the
same direction as Earth around Sun. Most planets
spin pro-grade but there are several notable
exceptions such as Pluto, Uranus, and Venus
among other objects in the Solar System.
It would be splendid to watch the Sun rise in
the west and set in the east!!
Click Here to return to the search form.