Earth – traveller in space
Everyone on Earth is a traveller through space. First, the Earth zooms around the Sun at a speed of 30 km/s – 45 times faster than Concorde. It takes 365 days (one year) to complete one orbit of the Sun.
It also spins very quickly, like a top that is leaning to one side. People living at the equator travel from west to east at a speed of 1670 km per hour. (The speed is slower for people living near the poles). Since everything around us is moving in the same way, we do not usually notice our high speed journey. The most obvious way to tell is to watch the Sun, Moon and stars as they appear to move across the sky.
The tilt of the axis that joins the north and south poles means that the Earth has seasons. When the north pole points towards the Sun, then it is summer in the northern countries. When the north pole points away from the Sun, these countries have their winter. The seasons are the exact opposite to the south of the equator.
Last modified 20 January 2006