This KS3 Science quiz is our third look at speed. Did you know that the average speed of a common snail is 0.001 m/s (metres per second)? Or that the slowest animal on Earth is the coral - it doesn't actually move!
Speeds on Earth are always given with reference to the Earth itself but the surface of the Earth is moving at a great speed. At the equator, it is moving at a speed of about 1600 km/h as the Earth rotates on its axis. The Earth is also in orbit around the Sun, travelling about 170,000 km every hour. Then you need to consider that the Sun (plus the rest of the Solar System of course) is moving through space as well at about 70,000 km/h in the direction of the star Vega. The Sun is also orbiting the centre of our galaxy at a speed of 800,000 km/h. Finally, our whole galaxy is moving through space at a speed of about 2 million km/h. In one hour, you will have travelled a long way indeed!
Speed always needs a reference point like the surface of the Earth or the centre of our galaxy. It was thinking about speed and reference points that led Albert Einstein to develop his theory of relativity.
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