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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?

  • Physics -

    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.

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