Crossing the equator

A demo of the gravitational effect being at equator

Crossing the equator
25th March 2010 Jane Tomlinson

equator demoThe equator is an imaginary line on the Earth’s surface equidistant from the north and south poles.

Last month I crossed this line overland, the first time in all my travels I have ever done this. It’s silly really but I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was!janeandmothattheequator We stopped at a roadside café, conveniently located just five metres south of the equator. A local man demonstrated to us the gravitational effect of the equator.

Standing a few metres south of the equator, using water draining through a funnel he placed a matchstick on the water and it rotated anti-clockwise. Repeating the experiment ten metres to the north of the equator, the matchstick rotated clockwise. But on the actual line of the equator the water drained straight down, with no rotation of the matchstick at all. That’s yer actual physics, that is! Brilliant!

I stood on the actual equator to drink a mug of tea, knowing that the tea was draining straight into my tum with no rotational drainage.

Great Rift Valley viewThere was more excitement that day when later we stopped at a viewpoint to see the line of the Great Rift Valley, cutting its mighty swathe through this incredible continent.

Photos: Moth Clark

Comments (2)

  1. Rich Cooper 13 years ago

    Wow, that Great Rift Valley shot is stunning.

  2. Nic Salt 13 years ago

    awesome Jane – am simply not worthy!

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