Why Don’t We Feel the Movement of the Earth?

As everyone knows, our planet makes a complete revolution on its axis once a day, so knowing the Earth’s radius, it is easy to calculate its linear speed at the equator (1666 km / h).

We travel at this very high speed along with everything around us and yet, we do not notice it. 

When we travel by car or train, the sensation that we are moving is minimal. In fact, if a passenger throws a ball, it describes the same parabolic trajectory as if he had thrown it completely static on the platform.

In any means of transport, we only notice the effects of a sudden acceleration or deceleration. We could understand our planet as just another means of transportation throughout the universe, so we do not notice its rotation.

What we would notice would be the “braking” in case it stopped rotating abruptly. Furthermore, if our planet stopped rotating, it would make us 0.5% heavier at the equator.

Why Don't We Feel the Movement of the Earth?

At what speed does the Earth move?

The described motion draws an elliptical trajectory of 930 million kilometers, calculated at an average distance from the Sun of about 150 million kilometers (km) In other words, the Earth is moving at an estimated speed of 29.5 kilometers per second (km/s).

Why don’t we feel the movements of the Earth?

HydrosphereThe rotational speeds of the Earth remain constant, without change or alterations.

That is why we do not feel accelerations or deceleration, because, quite simply, there is no change.

We move within the same Earth system, which is maintained at the same speed.

That is why we do not feel the motion of the Earth.

It is only possible to notice if from a car that has a high speed a sudden change of speed is applied, accelerating or braking suddenly, because of inertia.

It is only possible to notice if from a car that has a high speed a sudden change of speed is applied, accelerating or braking suddenly, because of inertia.
We do not feel the Earth moving and shifting because we move at the same speed and because that speed is constant.

For example:

It is possible that it has happened to you. But if you are in a vehicle at a high speed and then gradually reduce that speed, it seems that you are going very slowly. Even though you may still be going fast.

Also, when we go in an airplane, we don’t realize that we may be going at a speed of over 800 km/h. It’s a very high speed, but it doesn’t seem so to us.

There are two constant motions of the Earth: it rotates on its own axis and around the Sun, the Astro King.

The first is called rotational motion and the second is called translational motion.

Rotational motion of the Earth

why we don't feel the motion of the earthIn the first, the Earth rotates very rapidly on its own axis, from west to east, counterclockwise and at a rotational speed of 1670 kilometers/hour at the equator, which means accomplishing a 40,000 thousand-kilometer journey every 24 hours.

But this value, as we approach the poles of the planet, is decreasing to reach zero (0).

What is the exact time it takes for the Earth to rotate on its axis?

solar energyOne complete revolution of the Earth on its own axis takes exactly 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds and is called a sidereal day.

Although over millions of years, this rotational motion has been slowing down as a result of various phenomena of gravitational interaction with the Moon, in 2004 there was a very strong earthquake in the Indian Ocean, which the scientific community was able to establish, caused the planet to accelerate to spin on its own axis in about 3 microseconds.

The Earth’s rotation has been slowing down over the years as a result of various phenomena of gravitational interaction with the Moon.

Consequences of rotational motion

The most relevant consequences of this rotational motion are a succession of day and night; flattened shape at the poles and bulging towards the equator; time differences; variations in temperatures; establishment of the cardinal points and a magnetic field that protects the planet from solar radiation.

Translational motion of the Earth

causes of why we don't feel the motion of the earthIn the second motion, the translational motion, the Earth takes exactly 365 days and just under 6 hours to make one complete revolution around the Sun, spinning in an elliptical orbit.

This rotation is also opposite to the movement of the hands of the clock if we place ourselves to observe from space the North Pole of the planet, as happens with the rotational movement.

The cause that produces this rotational movement is due to gravity, causing a series of changes that allow the measurement of time.

By taking the Sun as a reference, we have the well-known tropical year, a span that includes the different seasons of the year, which are determined by the inclination of the Earth’s axis to the elliptical, which will determine which areas will receive more solar radiation.

What causes the translational motion?

Thus, translational motion determines the existence of the seasons and the calendar.