World's Fastest Road
Today, I'm going to get into a car and drive faster than I've ever driven before.
What is special, is not the car, but the road I'm going to be driving on. It may look like a perfectly normal road, but it's got two particular features. It's location and the direction it's heading.
This road is right on the equator and it's heading due east. The speedometer of the car is reading about 96 kilometres an hour. As we travel around the sun, the Earth's surface is spinning through space. And the place where it moves fastest is the equator. The road is spinning at over a 1,000 miles an hour, and because I'm heading due east, the same direction as the Earth's rotation I am travelling at over 1,060 miles an hour! Making this, quite probably, the world's fastest road.
High Speed Road
The Earth moves fastest at the equator, because this is where it's circumference is greatest, so it has the longest distance to travel in a single day.
But this also means that the further away from the equator you go, the slower you turn. Until, if you stood at the poles, you'd barely be moving at all, just rotating gently on the spot in a 24-hour pirouette.
These different speeds create an atmospheric force that has global significance. You can see it in action at one very particular time of the year, when it helps create the most destructive weather event on the planet.