Galactic speed

Galactic speed

Hold up your hands and clap them together. Wait one second, then do it again. If you could plot the distance between the first clap and the second clap, it would be more than 800 kilometers. This is because the Earth is moving around the sun, the sun is moving around the center of the galaxy, the galaxy is moving through the Virgo Supercluster, and the Virgo Supercluster is barreling through the universe. When you add up all the velocities and compare the result to the cosmic microwave background (which is the closest thing we have to a universal frame of reference), it comes out to about 800 kilometers per second. In the time it took you to read this, you've traveled farther than you'll ever walk in your life.

Previous Fact Next Fact
Categories: ScienceSpace