How Fast is the Earth Moving?

atkins-bookshelf-triviaThe Earth, a tiny planet located in the Orion Arm of the vast Milky Way Galaxy containing over 200 billion stars, is one of the best rides in the universe — no tickets to purchase, absolutely no labyrinthian lines, and no annoying signs with restrictions (e.g., “you must be this tall to ride”). Despite the mind-blowing and astronomical speeds of these celestial bodies, riders don’t have to worry about losing the contents of their pockets or purses.

Note: for comparison, a bullet fired from a pistol travels up to 1,448 km/h (about 900 mph), while a bullet fired from a rifle travels up to 5,310 km/h (about 3,300 mph). The speed of light is 300,000 km/second or 1.08 billion km/hour  (about 186,000 miles/second or 670 million mph).

Speed of the earth spinning around its axis: 1,600 km/hour  (about 1,000 mph)

Speed of earth revolving around the sun (relative to the sun): 107,000 km/hour  (about 66,000 mph)

Speed of solar system moving through the Milky Way Galaxy (relative to the local standard of rest which is defined as the average motion of all the stars in the Earth’s neighborhood): 70,000 km/hour. (The solar system is about 30,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way that is about 100,000 light-years wide and 1,000 light-years tall.)

Speed of the Milky Way Galaxy spinning (relative to its center): 828,000 km/hour.

Speed of the Milky Way Galaxy moving within the Local Group (a cluster of galaxies that include the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxies): 1.08 million km/hour.

Speed of the Milky Way Galaxy moving through the universe (relative to Cosmic Background Radiation that permeates all of space): 2.1 million km/hour.

So the next time you sit down to relax and ponder the day’s events, take a moment to realize that you are actually hurtling through the universe 400 times faster than a speeding bullet — that will be sure to leave you dizzy or exhausted. Or both.

Read related posts: What is the Oldest Object in the World?
What is the World’s Biggest Problem?

For further reading: reference.com/motif/hobbies/bullet-speed-in-mph
astrosociety.org/edu/publications/tnl/71/howfast.html
enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/planets/earth/Speeds.shtml
content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1870049,00.html
space.com/19915-milky-way-galaxy.html
space.com/15830-light-speed.html

 

 

 

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