Each day we wake up and go through our day not realizing how fast we are actually moving. Even when we are sitting still, we are moving at a high rate of speed!
The Earth is orbiting the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. That’s right, we are flying around the sun at a very fast speed that would make any fast jet seem like turtle speed when compared. It is a good thing we have a thick atmosphere to protect us as we race around the sun.
The Earth is also spinning around as it races around the sun. The spin is the same across the Earth, but the speed changes depending on where you live. The closer you are to the equator, the faster the spin. The closer to the poles, the slower the spin.
Think of it this way, if you were standing on the North or South, Pole it would take all day (24 hours) to spin around. If you were on the Equator, you would be spinning at an estimated 1,037 miles per hour. This is all due to the size and shape of the Earth. You have to use math and physics to understand why.
You can use a scientific calculator to figure out how fast you are spinning at the Latitude you live. We have to use trigonometry to calculate. You will need to take the cosine of your Latitude and then multiply it by the speed at the Equator which is 1,037 miles per hour. This will give you the speed at your location.
Here is an example:
Youngstown, Ohio is located at 41.0998° N Latitude. We take the cosine of 41.0998 and get 0.753565687. We then take the 0.753565687 x 1037 = 781.447617419mph.
So, we are spinning around on Earth at 781.45 miles per hour here in Youngstown, Ohio! Plus we are flying around the Sun at 67,000 miles per hour. It is hard to believe we can stand up. Good thing the Earth is big, and we have a great atmosphere to protect us from feeling these wild high-speed numbers.
When you go north or south, away from the equator the speed of the spin where you are located decreases. If you were standing directly on top of the North Pole, it would take all day to spin around.
Some locations and speed of rotation on Earth:
Equator = 1,037mph
Miami, FL = 934mph
Nashville, TN = 837mph
Pittsburgh, PA = 789mph
Youngstown, OH = 782mph
Cleveland, OH = 777mph
Green Bay, WI = 740mph
International Falls, MN = 685mph
Anchorage, AK = 499mph
Prudhoe Bay, AK = 350mph
The North Pole = 0mph