The Physics of the Universe - Difficult Topics Made Understandable
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How fast are we traveling through space?

A person on the equator rotates around the Earth at approximately 1,660 kilometers per hour. In contrast, a person at the North or South Pole has a rotational speed of zero and effectively turns on the spot. A person's rotational speed decreases as they move from the equator toward the pole; for instance, someone in Toronto, situated around 45°N, travels about 1,230 kilometers per hour.

In fact, rotational speed around the Earth also depends on altitude above sea level. A person at the top of a mountain on the Equator actually travels faster than 1,660 kilometers per hour, as they have a greater distance to cover with each revolution. Taking this to an extreme, an object in geostationary orbit around the Earth at an altitude of approximately 36,000 kilometers above the ground must travel at about 11,000 kilometers per hour.

However, that is not all. The Earth orbits the Sun at roughly 107,000 kilometers per hour. Our Solar System rotates around the Milky Way galaxy at approximately 700,000 kilometers per hour. Additionally, the galaxy travels at an immense speed away from every other galaxy as the universe continues to expand, with vastly differing relative speeds depending on the distances of the galaxies from us. To provide some context, scientists have calculated that our galaxy travels at around 2.2 million kilometers per hour relative to the cosmic background radiation that permeates the universe.

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