Coriolis effect facts for kids
The Coriolis effect is a force that is found in a rotating object. Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis first described the Coriolis effect in 1835 using mathematics. The Coriolis effect can best be seen in hurricanes. In the northern hemisphere, or part of the earth, they spin clockwise, in the southern hemisphere they spin the other way. This happens because the earth spins on its tilt.
One example of the Coriolis effect that is often described is that water flows down a drain in the opposite direction in the northern and southern hemispheres. However, in reality, the force of the Coriolis effect is not strong enough to see in such a small amount of water.
Images for kids

Image from Cursus seu Mundus Mathematicus (1674) of C.F.M. Dechales, showing how a ball should fall from a tower on a rotating Earth. The ball is released from F. The top of the tower moves faster than its base, so while the ball falls, the base of the tower moves to I, but the ball, which has the eastward speed of the tower's top, outruns the tower's base and lands further to the east at L.

Cannon at the center of a rotating turntable. To hit the target located at position 1 on the perimeter at time t = 0 s, the cannon must be aimed ahead of the target at angle θ. That way, by the time the cannonball reaches position 3 on the periphery, the target is also at that position. In an inertial frame of reference, the cannonball travels a straight radial path to the target (curve yA). However, in the frame of the turntable, the path is arched (curve yB), as also shown in the figure.

Successful trajectory of cannonball as seen from the turntable for three angles of launch θ. Plotted points are for the same equally spaced times steps on each curve. Cannonball speed v is held constant and angular rate of rotation ω is varied to achieve a successful "hit" for selected θ. For example, for a radius of 1 m and a cannonball speed of 1 m/s, the time of flight t'f = 1 s, and ωt'f = θ → ω and θ have the same numerical value if θ is expressed in radians. The wider spacing of the plotted points as the target is approached show the speed of the cannonball is accelerating as seen on the turntable, due to fictitious Coriolis and centrifugal forces.

A carousel is rotating counterclockwise. Left panel: a ball is tossed by a thrower at 12:00 o'clock and travels in a straight line to the center of the carousel. While it travels, the thrower circles in a counterclockwise direction. Right panel: The ball's motion as seen by the thrower, who now remains at 12:00 o'clock, because there is no rotation from their viewpoint.

Bird'seye view of carousel. The carousel rotates clockwise. Two viewpoints are illustrated: that of the camera at the center of rotation rotating with the carousel (left panel) and that of the inertial (stationary) observer (right panel). Both observers agree at any given time just how far the ball is from the center of the carousel, but not on its orientation. Time intervals are 1/10 of time from launch to bounce.