Quiz Question

One of a continuing series

See the diagram. An artillery piece at an Army fort in Kansas is firing at a target (B) 20 miles due north of the gun. The tube is aligned exactly with the target when the gun is fired. Instead of hitting the target, the shell lands at C.

Artillery-01

The exercise is repeated, but with the target located due east of the gun. Where does the shell land, at A, B, or C?

Artillery-02

The exercise is repeated with the target south of the gun. Where does the shell land?

Artillery-03

Post your answer in the comments section.

Update and answer

The answer is that in Kansas the projectile from the gun will always vier to the right, no matter in which direction it’s fired. In the Southern Hemisphere the projectile will always vier to the left. Since the Earth is rotating, anything that moves that is not tied to the planet’s surface will experience the Coriolis effect. It’s what makes hurricanes and vast ocean currents swirl. The ground beneath your feet (in the Northern Hemisphere) is constantly rotating in a counter-clockwise direction by an amount proportional to the sine of your latitude.

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3 thoughts on “Quiz Question

  1. Pingback: Quiz Question | Skeptical Analysis

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