General Question

talljasperman's avatar

What is the speed or velocity of our solar system?

Asked by talljasperman (17997 points ) February 13th, 2014

When compared to other stars in our galaxy.

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8 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have an app on my smart phone that gives answers to scientific questions. It’s called Wolfram Alpha. I typed in this question, and it says our solar system is moving at 490,000 mph or 220 km/s.

ETpro's avatar

Our speed relative to what. You need to pick a point, perhaps the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Right now relative to me, the Earth isn’t moving at all.

stanleybmanly's avatar

What ETpro said.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The number @Hawaii_Jake quoted is the speed of our sun relative to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy about 27,000 light years away.

You can easily calculate how fast our planet is moving around the sun. Say it is moving in a circle with a radius of 93 million miles and it takes year to make a full circle.

How fast is our galaxy moving through space is a little tougher. We can say how fast other galaxies are moving away from, or toward, us by looking at their red shift of light. Our nearest neighbor, Andromeda Galaxy, is actually moving toward us at 100km/sec! That is rare. Typically they are moving away from us at 1000 km/sec if near us, to 500,000 km/sec for distant galaxies.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Then there’s the velocity of the local group of galaxies relative to the others, the speed of the accelerating expansion of the universe. ETpro is flat out correct The question is meaningless without a point of reference. To have a meaningful answer, the question must include “relative to——————-” . Fill in the blank, then derive an answer.

gailcalled's avatar

Not to mention the speed of the spiral arm that our solar system resides in.

El_Cadejo's avatar

As an aside, wolfram alpha is an extremely good website for finding help with math/science questions. I used it a lot last year in chemisty.

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