Now this next experiment is a little dangerous (we’re going to be spinning flames in a circle), so I found a video by MIT that has a row of five candles sitting on a rotating platform (like a “lazy susan”) so you can see how it works.
The candles are placed inside a dome (or a glass jar) so that when we spin them, they aren’t affected by the moving air but purely by acceleration. So for this video above, a row of candles are inside a clear dome on a rotating platform. When the platform rotates, air inside the dome gets swung to the outer part of the dome, creating higher density air at the outer rim, and lower density air in the middle. The candle flames point inwards towards the middle because the hot gas in the flames always points towards lower density air. Source: http://video.mit.edu
Now you’re beginning to understand how an object moving in a circle experiences acceleration, even if the speed is constant.
So what direction is the acceleration vector?
It’s pointed straight toward the center of that circle.
Velocity is always tangent to the circle in the direction of the motion, and acceleration is always directed radially inward. Because of these two things, the acceleration that arises from traveling in a circle is called centripetal acceleration (a word created by Sir Isaac Newton). There’s no direct relationship between the acceleration and velocity vectors for a moving particle.