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Coriolis effect

The Coriolis Effect
 

The Coriolis Effect

Why do hurricanes spin? The simple answer is the Coriolis effect. Understanding that phenomenon helps.

The Coriolis effect literally is "a phenomenon that causes fluids, like water and air, to curve as they travel across or above Earth's surface." Take a look to see how this causes the hurricanes' spinning.

NOVA/PBS
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Global Wind Patterns

Global Wind Patterns

Apply your knowledge of the Coriolis effect, westerlies, and trade winds to this global wind pattern map. You’re going to want to print a copy first. More...

Article
NASA
Does the Rotation of the Earth Affect Toilets and Baseball Games?

Does the Rotation of the Earth Affect Toilets and Baseball Games?

The Coriolis effect acts on large-scale movements of wind and objects, not the localized swirl of water in a toilet bowl. But it does play a huge role in wind patterns and large-scale weather. More...

Article
HowStuffWorks
NASA Brain Bites: Coriolis Effect

NASA Brain Bites: Coriolis Effect

Due to the Coriolis effect, a spinning environment affects forward motion of an object in it. How does it affect astronauts in a spinning spacecraft? More...

Video
NASA
Surface Ocean Currents: The Coriolis Effect

Surface Ocean Currents: The Coriolis Effect

Things would be a lot different if Earth didn’t rotate: Winds and long-distance planes would travel in a straight line. But Earth does rotate, making life a bit more complicated. More...

Article
NOAA
Coriolis Effect

Coriolis Effect

Much of what you’ve heard about is probably urban myth (toilet flushes and curve balls). The Coriolis effect is a force that deflects a moving body in a rotating environment from a straight path. More...

Article
National Geographic
Fact or Fiction? South of the Equator Toilets Flush and Tornadoes Spin in the Opposite Direction

Fact or Fiction? South of the Equator Toilets Flush and Tornadoes Spin in the Opposite Direction

Old myths die hard, and these are two of them. Get the full story and you’ll be able to set your friends straight! More...

Article
Scientific American
Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis

Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis

Imagine discovering something so significant that it's named for you! Students for years and years to come would know your name. That's what happened to Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis. More...

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Encyclopedia Britannica
Observe an Animation of the Coriolis Effect Over Earth’s Surface

Observe an Animation of the Coriolis Effect Over Earth’s Surface

If a pilot sets a direct flight path from Alaska to Florida, will the plane make it to its intended destination? You’re not sure? Watch the animation. More...

Interactive
McDougal Littell
Origin of the Gulf Stream

Origin of the Gulf Stream

The question of what drove the Gulf Stream intrigued scientists and others for some time. Examine the hypotheses of some early experts. More...

Article
University of California, San Diego
Understanding the Coriolis Effect

Understanding the Coriolis Effect

Check out this explanation of the Coriolis effect that involves cannonballs launched very long distances. Got your attention? Read on! More...

Article
Windows to the Universe

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