How Fast is the Earth Moving? – A Quiz

A family views the visible orbit path of the earth.
A family views the visible orbit path of the earth.

“How fast?” means “What is our velocity?” Velocity is a speed combined with a direction. We can figure out our speed and our direction on the Earth by looking at these 6 motions and directions…

But, before you read these, try to think of the 6 different motions that the Earth has.

Just putting some space in here to give you time to think about the Quiz.


The answer:

  1. Rotation of Earth (cycle) – 0.5 km/sec
  2. Orbit around Sun (cycle) – 30 km/sec
  3. Solar System through Galaxy (cycle) – 200 km/sec
  4. Milky Way Galaxy moving toward Andromeda within the Local Group (non-cyclical toward Andromeda)- 109 km/sec
  5. Local Group motion inside Virgo Supercluster (non-cyclical toward “overdense” regions) – 300 km/sec
  6. Cosmic Void repulsion (non-cyclical) – 600 km/sec

Earth’s Overall motion = 368 km/sec +/- 30 km/sec depending on season

Our overall direction of motion? The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) tells us generally which direction we are moving in: towards the “overdense” regions of the Cosmic Void.


Thanks for Ethan Seigel for gathering all the relevant data points for this quiz.

2 Replies to “How Fast is the Earth Moving? – A Quiz”

  1. Hi! The quiz is just to try to imagine all of the Earth’s motions in space. Most readers will easily come up with rotation, revolution around the Sun, the motion of the Sun, and even the motion of the Galaxy… thanks for visiting!

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