Image Credit & Copyright: NASA Spitzer Space Telescope/JPL/Caltech of the center of the Milky Way. CLICK image for larger view and look below for some fun info.

Born on May 3, 1977 (Year of Voyager and the Space Shuttle) I’ve experienced quite a bit; more than some, less than others. Honestly I could care less about birthdays. When I stopped getting presents, I stopped caring about birthdays…….but I have been racking up the miles and with that we can have some fun with our time here on Earth.

As I complete my 37th lap around the Sun let’s take a look at some of the crazy details therein.

I was born on spaceship earth and I will likely die on spaceship earth. So far I have spun around at 800 mph (1000 mph if you live on the equator) 13,514.62 times. I have also, in my 37 laps around the sun traveled 21,608,000,000 (21 billion, 608 million) miles as we move around it at 67,000 mph at an average distance of 93,000,000 (93 million miles) from it. That’s a lot of wear and tear on old spaceship (or racecar) earth. But it doesn’t end there……

The sun and thus, our entire solar system is also in orbit around the Milky Way galaxy; our personal star city, one of hundreds of billions. At over 100 light years (a light year is 5.9 trillion miles) in diameter and containing potentially hundreds of billions of stars it takes our solar system traveling 515,000 mph a mind blowing 230 million years to complete the 150 light year “cosmic year” or “Galactic year” or one lap around the galaxy as we are roughly 28,000 light years from its center (our solar system is on lap 21). In my 37 years I have rode the merry go round that is the solar system for 167,036,000,000 miles (167 billion miles) around the galaxy. That equates to oh….about 0.000016% of the way around the galaxy.

We could continue because the galaxy is also in motion but that’s when things stars getting pretty complex because our galaxy is moving in a few different directions at the same time…..Story for another day.

• Earth rotational speed = 1000 mph on the equator & 800 mph at mid-northern latitudes & stationary on the poles (you will just spin in a circle).
• 1 DAY = 86,400 seconds or 24 hr.
• 1 YEAR = 365.26 days or 8766 hours or 31,556,926 seconds.
• Earth distance from the Sun = Average 93,000,000 miles.
• Earth orbital speed around the Sun = 67,000 mph.
• Earth distance traveled around the sun annually = 584,416,000 miles or 1,600,000 miles daily.
• Milky Way galaxy = roughly 100 light years in diameter.
• Solar system distance from galactic center = 28,000 light years.
• Solar system speed around the galaxy = 515,000 mph.
• 1 Cosmic Year (1 lap around the galaxy) = 150 light years and 230,000,000 years.
• Our solar system is likely on cosmic year 21.
• Solar system travels roughly 4,514,490,000 (4.5 billion) miles annually.
• Solar system oscillates in a wave motion through the galaxy roughly 2 times per cosmic year.

Spitzer Space Telescope page for this image:

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