Tesseract2/Wikimedia Commons

Can life change a planet’s rotation?

New research suggests the presence of life might impact how fast a planet turns, Space.com reports. Thanks to the atmosphere’s 50-trillion-metric-ton mass dragging across Earth’s surface, changes to the atmosphere can influence how quickly Earth rotates. And biologic activity that releases gases such as oxygen can modify the atmosphere enough to influence the speed with which a planet spins, the new study finds. For now, the calculations, detailed in a study released on the preprint server arXiv, are a theoretical but reasonable “what if” scenario, the researcher says.

Latest News