So how fast are you going even when standing still or sitting down? In other words how fast does the Earth spin? Of course, to the casual observer it appears to us that the Sun and the stars are the ones doing the moving as day and night alternate. However, it is – obviously – our planet that turns on its axis once a day — and all of us who live on the Earth’s surface are moving with it. So how fast does the Earth turn?
In order to make one complete rotation in 24 hours Earth must move at close to 1000 miles per hour – if you are near the equator. The speed gets less as you move north. However in addition to spinning on its axis, the Earth also revolves around the Sun.
Since we are approximately 93 million miles from the Sun, and at that distance, it takes us 365 days to go around the Sun once. The full path of the Earth’s orbit is close to 600 million miles (970 million km). To go around this immense circle in one year takes a speed of 66,000 miles per hour. At this speed, you could get from San Francisco to Washington DC in 3 minutes!
Via: Andrew Fraknoi
Foothill College & the Astronomical Society of the Pacific