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Surely most people know that our planet, the Earth or blue planet, is in a constant movement that takes place in two ways: a rotational movement (rotates on its own axis) and a translational movement (orbit around of the sun).

But why does the Earth revolve around the Sun and what consequences and effects does this movement have on the planet itself and on those of us who live on it? It is a very interesting question that we ask ourselves and clarify in a simple way in this AgroCorrn article.

Why do the planets revolve around the Sun

The explanation for this phenomenon was given by the English scientist Isaac Newton approximately 300 years ago. Newton discovered, among other things, why the planets orbited around the Sun and that it was related to the same reason that objects thrown upward fall towards Earth again. Thus, he elaborated the law of universal gravitation, published in his book “Mathematical principles of natural philosophy”, in which he demonstrated that the Sun’s gravity attracts the entire planetary system, in the same way that the Earth attracts towards yes anything that is not held by another force, and it keeps us tied to the ground.

In this way, objects (such as the Sun) that weigh more exert a gravitational attraction than those that are lighter. However, if the Sun attracts all the planets , why don’t they fall towards it and burn? The reason is that in addition to falling from being attracted, they also orbit around it, that is, they rotate around it in a lateral movement. For example, if we had an iron ball tied to the end of a string and we rotated it, at the same time that we attracted it towards our hand, the lateral movement of the rotation would keep the ball rotating. Therefore, without this lateral movement, the object would fall towards the hand and without the attraction towards the center, it would shoot out in a straight line.

How the Earth moves according to the translational motion

The translational movement is the movement of rotation of the Earth around the sun . This movement occurs in an entire elliptical orbit around the Sun and lasts for 365 days and 6 hours . These 365 days translate into the duration of a year according to our calendar and the remaining 6 hours are accumulated in a year. These 6 hours will make a total of 24 hours (1 day) over 4 years, which is added at the end of February. The year that contains one more day, that is, 366 days in the Gregorian calendar, is a leap year.

During this heliocentric orbit, the Earth acquires a speed of approximately 30 km per second, at an average distance of approximately 150 million kilometers. The trajectory, as we said, is elliptical (it is not completely round) and has around 940 million kilometers .

How the planet Earth moves according to the rotational movement

As the Earth orbits the Sun , it also rotates on its axis. This is the rotational movement of the Earth that takes place in a counter-clockwise direction (taking the pole star as reference, and lasts approximately 24 hours.

Although currently this movement is tending to slow down (with respect to the past) and has been slowing down due to the influence of the moon on its tides. In fact, a full day in the time of the dinosaurs lasted about 22 hours.

Learn more about this topic in this other AgroCorrn article on Why and how the Earth moves .

Effects of land movement

The effects of ground movements are:

  • 24-hour days and 365-day years , with a leap year every 4 years.
  • Phenomena of day and night: because the Earth rotates in an anti-clockwise direction, the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
  • Coriolis effect: in the northern hemisphere low pressure systems rotate to the left and high pressure systems to the right. In the southern hemisphere the opposite is true.
  • Terrestrial form: the rotary movement has contributed to the fact that the Earth is not a perfect sphere, but rather is more bulky at the poles and flattened at the equator.
  • Creation of a magnetic field: the rotating movement favors the creation of the earth’s magnetic field, which protects us from the sun’s rays and solar storms.
  • Others: changes in currents, movements of tectonic plates, climate change or the depth of seas and oceans.

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