posted by Krysten on .
In a fit of pique, the Canadians fire a cannonball due south from vancouver (lat 49.2 degrees N) at a randomly picked city (39.4 degrees N). Assuming the cannonball takes 48 minutes to get there, by how far and in what direction will the cannonball miss?
How much they miss by depends upon whether they used the right combination of alunch angle and velocity. You have said nothing about what they were.
I suspect that they want to to compute the error due to Coriolis acceleration, assuming that they calculated the target correctly for a non-rotating Earth. Let a' be the Coriolis acceleration, which depends upon latitude. Use a midflight average value of 44.3 degrees. The target error will be
(1/2)a' t^2 , where t is the time of flight in seconds.