Visualization
ES1904  Observe an animation of the Coriolis effect over Earth's surface.
  !   Click the images to see the animations. Use the movie controls to step through or replay them.

A plane flying from Anchorage, Alaska directly toward Miami, Florida would miss its target due to the Coriolis effect. The target location where the plane was headed when it took off has moved with Earth's rotation, so the plane would end up to the right of its original target.

A plane flying from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina directly toward Rio de Janeiro, Brazil would miss its target due to the Coriolis effect. The target location where the plane was headed when it took off has moved with Earth's rotation, so the plane would end up to the left of its original target.

In reality, pilots take the Coriolis effect into account so they do not miss their targets.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center­Scientific Visualization Studio, Smithsonian Institution, National Science Foundation (NSF), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Global Change Research Project (GCRP), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dimensional Media Associates (DMA), New York Film and Animation Company, Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI), Hughes STX Corporation.