Direction Of Air Resistance: 5 Facts You Should Know !

Walking through the air is quite easier than walking through the water, but that does not mean air has no resistance. So, let us see what the air resistance is.

Air resistance, like any other resistive force, is a frictional force. Air will be the friction in this force, pushing the moving object backward against its own motion. As a result, it is also usually referred to as drag.

So, after getting the exact idea about air resistance, let us now see what the direction of air resistance is and how to determine it through this post.

Does air resistance oppose the direction of motion?

The force created by air is simply referred to as air resistance. So let us check if it opposes or favors the direction of motion of the object.

Air resistance will be in the direction that opposes the object’s motion as it is a frictional force. When an object passes through the air, it faces air resistance. The air particles hit the object from the front to slow its motion. Thus, greater resistance is felt when an object’s surface is larger.

Does air resistance affect vertical or horizontal?

When an object feels the highest air resistance, this is referred to as drag. Let us see whether it impacts the object’s motion in the horizontal, vertical, or both directions.

Drag, or air resistance, has two components: one in the vertical and one in the horizontal direction. One component of drag may be greater than another, depending on the angle at which the object is moving. Therefore, the appropriate drag component will respond based on the direction of the object’s motion.

Direction of Air resistance

How to determine the direction of air resistance?

Air resistance can occur in either a vertical or horizontal direction. So let us see how to determine the direction of air resistance when an object is in motion.

The direction of air resistance totally depends on the direction of the object’s motion. Thus, if the object is moving horizontally forward, then air resistance will push it backward by acting horizontally backward. A similar thing happens when the object moves in a vertical direction.

Why does air resistance act in an upwards direction?

Air resistance depends on the direction of the object’s motion. So let us see in which condition it acts in the upward direction.

When an object moves vertically downward under the influence of gravity, or in “free fall,” air resistance will be exerted on the body in an upward direction. Depending on the surface area of the objects, air resistance will be present when two things fall from the same height.

Upward direction of Air Resistance

Direction of the acceleration without air resistance:

Being a vector, the acceleration of a moving object has magnitude and direction. So let us know whether the presence or absence of air resistance affects its direction or not.

Air resistance doesn’t affect the direction in which an object moves; it just changes the speed. Therefore, if an object is moving, the direction of acceleration will be the same even in the absence of air resistance. However, its magnitude will undoubtedly be greater than that of the presence of air resistance.


We learn from this article that even while we are walking in the air, there is air resistance, but when we are running, the air resistance increases as our speed increases. Air particles strike the moving body from the frontal side and in the opposite direction. Additionally, depending on the direction of the object’s motion, it acts in both horizontal and vertical directions.

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