Fast Facts on Planet Earth Size Orbit Distance to the Sun and More

About the planet Earth, fast facts including size, orbit, distance to the sun, gravity and more.

EARTH

The earth spins through space like a top. It makes one complete spin or revolution every 24 hours, and this is known as a solar day. The direction of the spin is eastward. Traveling 1,100 mi. a minute, the earth takes 365 1/4 days to make one complete orbit around the sun, and it winds up where it started a solar year later. Annually, the earth travels 600 million mi. through space.

The distance from the earth to the sun is 93 million mi.

The earth is not round like a basketball. The earth is oblate-relatively flattened at the North and South poles--which is why the diameter at the equator is 7,926 mi. but from pole to pole only 7,900 mi.

What keeps earthlings from flying off into space as the earth spins around, and in fact what keeps earthlings alive, is gravity. Gravity acts as a magnet beneath the feet of human beings to pull them down to the earth's surface, and it is gravity that holds onto the earth's atmosphere of oxygen and other gases that earthlings breathe.

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