Should we see the Earth go round if we stood still in a balloon in the sky?

Yes! And we should have a wonderful spectacle beneath us, for we should see the Earth spinning under our eyes at a pace twenty times as quickly as an express train. Also, if we went up in the daytime, the night would not come. And if we went up at night, the day would not come. Because whatever was our position in relation to the Sun, there we should remain! But all this is quite impossible for a balloon which floats in the air, since the air is also carried round with the Earth, and the balloon must go round too.

It would be possible in an airship which could travel as fast through the air in the opposite direction as the air travels with the Earth. So, of course, it could remain in really the same place and the people in it could see the Earth travel underneath them. But the Earth is 40,000 kilometers in circumference, and spins completely round in twenty-four hours, so the airship would have to be able to move at a tremendous speed, about ten times as fast as the fastest motor-car.

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