How many directions is earth moving in?

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flobadob | 21:36 Wed 27th Jan 2010 | Science
13 Answers
As far as I'm aware the earth is constantly rotating, ok. Also as it rotates it is also going around the sun, ok. But is that were the movements end or is earth also moving through space as part of the galaxy? For instance is the galaxy which we are a part of actually orbitting another object or is it stationary?


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Relative to what ?
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Why do old geezers never read the question? In my day....
My guess is the earth is moving in only one direction. A space Alien will know best.
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I understand that our galaxy is at the end of an arm of a spiral which is itself rotating set in a universe which is also moving (rotating may be too stong a word as that pre-supposes that we know where the centre is).
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In addition to the different directions already mentioned, there are some fairly arcane movements that are, nevertheless valid in this discussion. For example, the Earth "wobbles" on its axis which (the axis) describes a great circle about every 25,000 years or so. Added to the list should be the fact that both the Earth and the sun, actually revolve, or spin, around the center of mass (similar to center of gravity) between them. This point is called the "barycenter." Factually, the center of mass between the Earth and the sun is almost--but not quite--the very center of the sun.
We'd add that our Milky Way moves inside the Local Group of Galaxies, the Local Group moves towards the Virgo Cluster, the Virgo Cluster moves within the Local Super Cluster and finally (at least for now) the Milky Way and super-clusters of galaxies (as well as a huge volume of space) is flowing towards a mysterious, gigantic unseen mass named mass astronomers have dubbed "The Great Attractor," some 250 million light years from our Solar System. Known for years by astronomers, its location and structure are unknown, but theorized to be the equivalent of 10 Milky Way-size galaxies...
I read somewhere that 'The Great Attractor' was on the order of one million Milky Way's in mass . . . some chocolate bar!

I suppose the next logical question would be, “How fast?”



ah hell . . .

. . . you'll probably have to copy/paste the link yourself . . . AB brokes it.
Ah flobadob old geezer asks the most pertinant question and you fail to spot it!

There is no fixed point in the Universe, no absolute grid every motion has to be relative to something.

In your first example you have selected the sun, people have then selected the centre of our galaxy, our local group of galaxies or a super cluster of gravity.

For each movement you are selecting an arbitory reference point
Jake and Geezer have a point. Relative to where I'm standing the Earth aint hardly moving at all. I might weigh a little bit less than I ought to but thank my lucky stars I'm not in Haiti.
Oh look, here comes the Sun! <"?

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