What Really Matters – Speed is Relative

With all our blind fury and anger at the world coming apart, about religious zealotry going crazy and scaring the shit out of us, I like to come back down to earth and think about some of the bigger wonders in the world, like the speed of things.

To muse about that, I posted in March 2013 about my coffee cup. Here is a link in case you missed it.

Speed is relative. Here is a chart I have put together to illustrate that:

Speed is Relative

There are a number of entries in this chart that I find counter-intuitive.

The very fastest rifle bullet is still only a fraction of the orbital speed of the International Space Station and the astronauts floating in it.

Any point on the surface of the earth at the equator moves about twice as fast as you do when you travel in a 747 across the ocean.

That point on the equator moves faster than the speed of sound.

The earth zooms around the sun four times faster than the orbital speed of the space station.

The Andromeda Galaxy is racing toward us about four times as fast as the earth is zipping around the sun or almost 80 times as fast as the fastest rifle bullet. But don’t worry, we won’t collide for a while yet.

And then, our galaxy is hurtling along within the “local group” of galaxies at a speed about ten times as fast as the Andromeda is coming at us, moving at about on third of one percent of the speed of light.

And all this is going on, while I am sitting here with my coffee cup, moving along for the ride in the “local group”.

Who knows how fast the universe itself is moving, and where to?


One thought on “What Really Matters – Speed is Relative

  1. Ray Cullen

    Wonderful musings Norbert–!! Good to “put it all in perspective” at times—-any time really–!!!
    *** Crazy “religious zealots” ARE doing things which are anathema to most of us. And yet, amongst all of that “hurtling” of which we’re all a part—-people are welcoming new lives into a beautiful world//making amazing beneficial discoveries—–& brain surgeons are doing incredibly intricate work—!!!!
    *** What an amazing thing, is this thing called LIFE—!!!
    *** Cheers—Ray.

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