A former NASA scientist has released an informative animated video that shows how fast Earth is rotating relative to the Sun, the Milky Way galaxy, and the Cosmic Microwave Background.
The simple animation video found above was created by planetary scientists, and former NASA scientist James O'Donoghue, who wanted to put all of this information into context with a simple and informative video. According to O'Donoghue, "People often talk about how we are standing on a ball (Earth) which rotates at great speed, and that this ball orbits another at an even greater speed. Sometimes this is extended to how fast we orbit the centre of our Milky Way."
O'Donoghue also said, "In all the confusion of big numbers and directions, I simply wanted to put all this information into context in a single frame so people could understand where they're headed - and how fast." Looking at the video, we can on the left-hand side the numbers that show the speed of Earth's rotation (1030 mph). Below the Earth is the Sun, and how fast the Earth rotates in comparison to the Sun, the same goes for the Milky Way galaxy, and then finally the Cosmic Microwave Background that was produced by the Big Bang.
On the right-hand side is dots that show how fast each object travels 150 kilometers (93 miles). Here's a quick answer to how it all works: the Earth orbits the Sun at 66,600 mph, the Sun orbits the Milky Way at 514,500 mph, and finally, the solar system's speed relative to the Cosmic Microwave Background is 827,000 mph. If you take a step further back, you will find that the entire galaxy is traveling through the Cosmic Microwave Background at 1.3 million mph.
SpaceX and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk even commented on the video, stating "makes it clear that you can only sense acceleration, not velocity."
Last updated: Jun 16, 2020 at 04:29 pm CDT
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