The Incredible Relative Speed of the Earth


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Along with orbiting around the sun at 66,600 mph, the Earth is also rotating at its axis at about 1,070 miles per hour.  So you are simultaneously hurtling around the sun at 66,600 mph while sitting on a rock that is spinning at 1,070 mph. On top of that, our whole solar system is rocketing through space around the center of the Milky Way at around 559,234 mph.  On top of that, our galaxy is hurtling through space at around 671,080 mph, with respect to our local group of galaxies.  On top of that, for all we know, our entire Universe is hurtling through some unknown medium at some other ridiculous speed.

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  • All The Worlds A Stage

    Yeah.. But the most amazing thing..

    Every time you look into the sky and see anything.. You are actually looking through a time machine into the past..

    Objects in space that we can see are identified by their distance from us in “light years” meaning that if something is 100 Light years away.. It takes 100 years for the light generated at it’s source to reach us.. So the image of what we are seeing is really 100 years old and the image of what happened in the same time as us wont reach earth for another 100 years..

  • the earth only rotates at 1070 mph at the equator, decreasing speed until one reaches either pole (0 mph)

  • I just got really dizzy

  • And yet motorists are punished for as little as 5mph over the posted limit.

  • Now we just need to find out if the universe is rotating or stationary … probably stationary.

  • You don’t measure rotation in mph, it’s radians per second. I’m assuming that mph value was for the equator.

  • if the galaxy is traveling at 671k, and our solar system is traveling at 559k… does that mean we will eventually fall behind the rest of the galaxy and be left in open space by ourselves

    • Daven Hiskey

      @dave vallence: No, our solar system travels around the center of the galaxy at that rate. Then the entire galaxy is also moving, with us along with everything else in the galaxy, sort of like how Earth moves around the Sun as it and us orbits the galactic center.