Friday, February 15, 2008

The Earth is a Hot Rod

Author: Richard Monk

For many years it was believed the Earth was the center of the Universe. Alas, this was disproved for a number of reasons including the fact the planet was moving quickly through space.

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Once our egotistical view of being the center of the universe was disproved, the goal of figuring out how fast we are moving through space came front and center. These days, the rather interesting answer is there are three different speeds. No, the planet doesn't move at different speeds. It is more a matter of perspective and how we define movement. The issue comes down to whether we measure the orbit as a matter of time or pure acceleration.

The speed of the Earth is defined three ways. The sidereal methodology calculates the orbit speed for one revolution around the sun in relation to the sun and stars and is a measure of time. The tropical year is also a measure of time, but refers to how long it takes one point on the earth to make a revolution around the sun between two equinoxes. Finally, the pace can also be calculated in good old miles per hour.

While we consider a day to be 24 hours, it is actually a bit less because the Earth is moving through space according to the sidereal methodology. In relation to the stars, a concept known as solar time, this means a day is actually 3 minutes and 56 seconds shorter than we think. As a result, the speed of the earth using the sidereal method is roughly 364 days, 2 hours and 1 minute to complete one revolution around the sun.

The tropical year methodology arrives at a different time measurement for the Earth in relation to a revolution around the sun. This is due to the fact that the movement of the Earth through space in relation to celestial bodies other than the Sun is discounted. In tropical year methodology, we circle the sun in 365.24 days.

The final method for calculating the movement of the Earth is pure forward momentum. Man has built some extremely fast machines in his time, but nothing matches the hot rod known as the Earth. The average pace of the Earth as it moves through space is approximately 67,000 miles per hour.

Let's see Ferrari or Porsche top that!

About the author: Richard Monk is with FactsMonk.com - a site with facts about everything. Visit us to read more about planet Earth and the orbit speed of the Earth .

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