Speed of the Earth

How Fast Does the Earth Orbit the Sun and Rotate on its Axis?

Picture showing the direction the Earth spins.
(Photo by juanljones / Getty Images)

The Earth is always in motion. While it seems like we are standing still on the Earth's surface, the Earth is spinning on its axis and traveling quickly while orbiting the sun.

How Fast Is the Earth Rotating on Its Axis?

The Earth rotates on its axis once each day. Since the circumference of the Earth at the Equator is 24,901.55 miles, a spot on the Equator rotates at approximately 1037.5646 miles per hour (1037.5646 times 24 equals 24,901.55) (1669.8 km/h).

At the North Pole (90 degrees north) and South Pole (90 degrees south), the speed is effectively zero since that spot rotates once in 24 hours, at a very, very slow speed.

To determine the speed at any other latitude, simply multiply the cosine of the degree latitude times the speed of 1037.5646.

Thus, at 45 degrees north, the cosine is .7071068 so multiply .7071068 times 1037.5464 and the speed of the rotation is 733.65611 miles per hour (1180.7 km/h).

For other latitudes...

10° - 1021.7837 mph (1644.4 km/h)
20° - 974.9747 mph (1569.1 km/h)
30° - 898.54154 mph (1446.1 km/h)
40° - 794.80665 mph (1279.1 km/h)
50° - 666.92197 mph (1073.3 km/h)
60° - 518.7732 mph (834.9 km/h)
70° - 354.86177 mph (571.1 km/h)
80° - 180.16804 mph (289.95 km/h)

How Fast Does the Earth Travel While Orbiting the Sun?

In addition to the rotational speed of the Earth spinning on its axis, the Earth is also speeding at about 66,660 miles per hour (107278.87 km/h) in its revolution around the sun once ever 365.2425 days.

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Your Citation
Rosenberg, Matt. "Speed of the Earth." ThoughtCo, Mar. 31, 2017, thoughtco.com/speed-of-the-earth-1435093. Rosenberg, Matt. (2017, March 31). Speed of the Earth. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/speed-of-the-earth-1435093 Rosenberg, Matt. "Speed of the Earth." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/speed-of-the-earth-1435093 (accessed January 22, 2018).