The Earth slows down and reaches today its minimal speed all year

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On the surface of the Earth all seems very quiet, but, in reality, absolutely anything that we can see are moving at a breakneck speed. How fast it moves our planet? As explained in this article from “Scientific American” Rhett Herman, professor of Radford University, in Virginia (united States), it depends on what you compare.

For a start the planet is spinning on itself and giving way to the days and nights. Given that the planet completes a full turn every 23 hours, 56 minutes and a little more than four seconds, the speed of the surface, at the Equator, round the 1.609 kilometers per hour . But there are many more movements. We could also consider that the solar system moves around the galaxy at a speed of about 828.000 km per hour or the galaxy itself travels towards the Great Attractor at a speed of 3.600.000 kilometers per hour.

But this 4th of July is a special day for another reason. Exactly 13.34 (CEST, cet) the planet has reached its aphelion , that is to say, at the point farthest from the Sun in its orbit. At that time, the Earth has been placed at a distance of 152.095.295 kilometers, about 2.5 million more than the average distance and five more than at the nearest point to the Sun, or perihelion, which occurred on the 5th of January, as has been reported “Space.com”.

A change of 2,000 km/h

contrary to what you may think, the Earth’s orbit is not a circle, but an ellipse (although very similar to a circumference, in which the distance to the Sun just barely hovering at 3%). How do you translate that into speed?

as described by Kepler with his second law, the Earth speeds up when it approaches the Sun and decreases its speed when it moves away. How much? The average speed of the planet is 107.208 km/h, but today, in the farthest point (aphelion), it is 105.444, while in the closest (perihelion) is 109.044 kilometers per hour.

Or the change of speeds or distances is visible, nor affects the seasons, as it might seem (in fact, the summer in the northern hemisphere comes when the Earth is farthest from Sun). Instead of that, the seasons occur because the tilt of the Earth’s axis and by the fact that in each era one hemisphere is more illuminated than the other.