Ask an Explainer


Would it be possible to fly around the world at the same speed that the sun was setting, so that you could always see the sunset?


Yes, it would. If fuel wasn't a consideration, you could keep pace with the Earth's rotation (moving in the opposite direction), which would allow you to keep the sun at the same position in the sky.


It is possible, but it would be challenging. To do this, you would need an aircraft that could fly for 24 hours nonstop and it would need to fly at the exact speed that the Earth rotates, which is approximately 1,000 miles per hour at the Equator. This speed would change depending on your latitude, though. For example, at 39° N, which is the latitude of Washington DC, you would need to go approximately 833 miles per hour. If an aircraft could do this, then all it would need to do is fly directly west for 24 hours and the Sun would remain in about the same spot in the sky!

Categories: Flight Dynamics