See how much you know about speed in our second KS3 Science quiz on the subject. The fastest land animal is the cheetah which has been recorded running at a speed of between 110 and 120 km/h. The fastest bird is the peregrine falcon which has been recorded diving to catch its prey at an astonishing 389 km/h.
That is a bit of a cheat though because it is not really flying, it is simply falling from a great height, but is under control. Human skydivers in free fall (the part of the skydive before the parachute is opened) can achieve speeds of almost 200 km/h, half that of the peregrine.
In 2012, Felix Baumgartner ascended to a height of 39 km altitude to do a free fall parachute jump. The atmosphere is very thin at that height and he was able to fall much faster than someone in free fall from 10 km or lower.
He reached a speed of 1,357 km/h which was faster than the speed of sound. Back on Earth, the fastest humans can run is about 40 km/h, which is not even fast enough to beat a domestic cat in a race (they can sprint at 45 - 50 km/h when they need to).
One of the key skills you will learn in science is how to rearrange an equation to make it calculate what you want. So from the basic equation of speed equals distance divided by time, you can work out the distance travelled if you multiply the speed by the time the object was moving at that speed.
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