How the Earth Moves

Earth Science - Middle School

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Table Of Contents: How the Earth Moves

1. Earth's Rotation
The spinning of the Earth on its axis is known as rotation. As viewed from space, the Earth rotates in a counterclockwise direction called prograde rotation. Venus and Uranus spin in a clockwise direction called retrograde rotation.
2. Rotation Causes Day and Night
As the Earth rotates east, the Sun appears to move toward the west. We experience a period of daylight when the Earth is facing the Sun and a period of darkness when the Earth is facing away from the Sun.
3. Earth's Period of Rotation
The Earth rotates at 1,670 kilometers per hour. The amount of time it takes for the Earth to rotate once is known as its period of rotation, or what we call a day. Earth's period of rotation is 24 hours.
4. Earth's Revolution
As the Earth spins on its axis, it also revolves around the Sun. It moves on an elliptical orbit path at a speed of 107,000 kilometers per hour. The amount of time it takes for the Earth to revolve one time around the Sun is its period of revolution, or what we call a year. Earth's period of revolution is 365.25 days.
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