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Earth Orbit facts

While investigating facts about Earth's Orbit Around The Sun and Earth Orbiting The Sun, I found out little known, but curios details like:

There is an official world record for time traveling. It's held by cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who has spent 803 days total in orbit around Earth. According to Einstein's theories of relativity, this would mean Sergei effectively has travelled about 0.02 seconds forward in time.

how earth orbits the sun?

There's a place in the Pacific Ocean called Point Nemo. It s so far from land, the nearest humans are often astronauts. The ISS orbits the Earth at a maximum of 258 miles (416km). Meanwhile the nearest inhabited landmass to Point Nemo is over 1,670 miles (2,700km) away.

What is low earth orbit?

In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across answering what keeps the moon in orbit around the earth. Here are 50 of the best facts about Earth Orbit Shape and Earth Orbit Speed I managed to collect.

what's earth's orbit?

  1. Astronomers discovered a bizarre rogue planet wandering the Milky Way. The free-range planet, which is nearly 13 times the mass of Jupiter and does not orbit a star, also displays stunningly bright auroras that are generated by a magnetic field 4 million times stronger than Earth's.

  2. Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space on 16 June 1963, where she spent three days orbiting the Earth 48 times, and is the only woman to have completed a solo space mission

  3. John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, spotted a cloud of strange glowing "fireflies" on his second orbit. Later NASA confirmed that the fireflies were simply droplets of his own urine that had been expelled from his craft during his previous orbit.

  4. African-American physicist and mathematician Katherine Johnson calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard's first space flight by hand. When NASA used computers for the first time to calculate John Glenn's orbit around Earth, officials called on Johnson to verify its numbers.

  5. Project Thor which explored using large projectiles from 1,000+ miles above the Earth. The "rods from god" idea was a bundle of telephone-pole-size tungsten rods, dropped from orbit, reaching up to 10 times the speed of sound. The explosion would be on par with a nuke - but no fallout.

  6. John Glenn flew combat missions in WWII and Korea, became the first American to orbit the Earth, was present for the assassination of Robert Kennedy, served as Senator from Ohio, and, while still a senator, became the oldest person to fly in space at age 77.

  7. Vladimir Komarov. When the Soyouz Spacecraft catastrophically failed in orbit, he impossibly managed to manually pilot the craft to re-enter Earth's orbit, only to perish because both the main AND backup parachutes failed. He died "cursing those who had put him inside a botched spaceship".

  8. Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev launched into space as a Soviet citizen, but returned to earth as a Russian citizen - he was in orbit when the Soviet Union dissolved on December 26, 1991.

  9. NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson calculated the trajectory for the space flight of Alan Shepard by hand, and was called on by NASA officials to verify the computer's calculations of John Glenn's orbit around Earth.

  10. In 1993, A company called "Space advertising inc." attempted to launch a giant billboard into low earth orbit. From earth the billboard would look almost as big as a full moon. After the project was canceled, a bill was introduced that banned any further space advertising.

earth orbit facts
What is the shape of earth's orbit?

Earth Orbit data charts

For your convenience take a look at Earth Orbit figures with stats and charts presented as graphic.

earth orbit fact data chart about Optimal Low-Earth-Orbit Satellite Intercept
Optimal Low-Earth-Orbit Satellite Intercept

earth orbit fact data chart about The altitude of all active satellites in low Earth orbit und
The altitude of all active satellites in low Earth orbit under 1000 km on 30 Apr 2018

Why earth orbits the sun?

You can easily fact check why earth orbits around the sun by examining the linked well-known sources.

There is a satellite orbiting Earth that is predicted to re-enter the atmosphere in 8.4 million years, carrying a message addressed to the beings/humans and civilizations of the future.

Astronauts on Skylab 4 staged a mutiny after feeling that they were being worked and pushed too hard. They reportedly spent their day off relaxing and taking in the panoramic views of Earth from orbit. - source

The most isolated human being ever was Al Worden, command module pilot of Apollo 15, who in lunar orbit was at a maximum distance of 2,235 miles from his fellow astronauts on the surface. While on the other side of the Moon, no communication with Earth or his comrades was possible. - source

About Apophis (Egyptian god of death and darkness), an asteroid that will pass earth closer than our own satellites orbit on Friday 13th, 2029. It will touch our atmosphere, and we will be able to see it wiz overhead. There is a debated chance of it impacting Earth when it returns in 2036.

There's a probe orbiting Venus with a secondary mission: to find life on Earth. From Venus’s point of view, Earth is practically a pixel, which is exactly what exoplanets across the galaxy look like from Earth. - source

When earth orbits the sun?

The Greeks had proposed heliocentrism 2000 years before Copernicus: Aristarchus arranged the planets in order of distance from the Sun, concluding that it could not be in orbit around the Earth because a body that large could not orbit a body so small.

How earth's orbit affects climate?

It takes the Earth (and the Sun) 226 million years to orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy. Which means Earth has made the orbit around our galaxy about 20 times since the planet is 4.5 billion years old.

Since 1965, a nuclear reactor has been orbiting the Earth. It's broken now but will continue its orbit for another 4000 years

Humans usually get the urge to pee when the bladder is just 1/3 full. But in zero gravity, the urge doesn't kick in till the bladder is almost completely full. When John Glenn orbited the Earth, his only urination was 27 ounces, seven ounces more than the capacity of the avg human bladder.

Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star trek, flew 89 combat missions in the Army Air Forces during World War II, and worked as a commercial pilot after the war. Also,Roddenberry was one of the first humans to have his ashes carried into earth orbit.

The earth does not actually orbit around the sun, but rather around the solar system's center of mass, which is constantly moving, and is currently several hundred thousand kilometers away from the sun.

Earth orbit infographics

Beautiful visual representation of Earth Orbit numbers and stats to get perspecive of the whole story.

earth orbit fact infographic about Periodic Orbits about Lagrange Points in the Earth-Moon Syst

Periodic Orbits about Lagrange Points in the Earth-Moon System

earth orbit fact infographic about Date of Launch, Perigee und Purpose of satellites currently

Date of Launch, Perigee und Purpose of satellites currently orbiting earth

What happens to the orbit of earth when its velocity is halved?

The moon orbits the Earth once every 27.322 days. It also takes approximately 27 days for the moon to rotate once on its axis. As a result, the moon does not seem to be spinning but appears to observers from Earth to be keeping almost perfectly still. Scientists call this synchronous rotation.

Earth is being shadowed by a minor planet called 2010 TK7, a 300 meter diameter trojan asteroid that orbits the sun in a spiral pattern every 365.3 days, 60° ahead of Earth's track through space. It has a gravitational force 1/20000 that of Earth and was only discovered in 2010.

There are more than 500,000 pieces of debris floating or orbiting around Earth now. Most of them originated as parts of satellites and rockets.

The largest known star in existence UY Scuti, is so big, that if it swapped positions with our sun, it would easily engulf the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter.

Skylab, the first U.S. space station, cost $2.2 billion but was occupied for only 6 months of its 6 years in orbit. It was damaged during launch and eventually fell to Earth on July 11, 1979. The debris fell on western Australia, and the Shire of Esperance fined NASA A$400 for littering.

How earth orbits around the sun?

John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, had a wife with a severe speech impediment. And he protected her from the intense media coverage that followed his accomplishment and throughout their long life together.

In 1963, at the height of the Cold War, the US military launched a ring of 480million needles into orbit around the earth. It was hoped they would more reliably bounce radio signals back to earth in case the Soviets cut through undersea cables. Multiple clumps of these needles are still up there

The Japanese are working on developing technology to transmit electricity wirelessly. Their goal is to transmit energy from orbiting solar panels to Earth by 2030. They have successfully transmitted 10 kW of energy 500 meters away.

NASA has confirmed Earth has a space-time vortex. It was measured by 4 near perfect gyroscopes in orbit.

J002E3, originally thought to be an asteroid orbiting the Earth, is actually part of the Apollo 12 mission that returned to Earth orbit after 31 years of orbiting the Sun

The 3rd stage of Apollo 12 Saturn V rocket launched in 1969 is an semi-stable orbit and revisited the earth-moon system in 2003 and is expected to arrive again in 2040s

In 8 million years the LAGEOS satellite orbit will decay, and it will re-enter Earth's atmosphere, carrying with them a message to any far future descendants of humanity, and a map of the continents as they are expected to appear then.

There are over 40 dangerous radioactive satellites in orbit of Earth. One - Kosmos 954 - already crashed in Canada in 1978 spreading radiation over 600km, eventually leaking into the US

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to go into space. In 1963, she spent almost three days in space and orbited Earth 48 times in her space capsule, Vostok 6.

50% of the fuel needed to get to Mars is required just to get out of low Earth orbit.

A soccer ball that was on board Space Shuttle Challenger, was recovered, and is now in orbit around Earth aboard the International Space Station

Ball, the company everyone knows for making glass canning jars, has an aerospace division that built the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter - the largest telescopic instrument ever sent beyond Earth’s orbit.

Digital cameras were developed so spy satellites could send images back to earth more quickly. Before digital cameras in 1976, spy satellites used film. After the film was shot, the satellites loaded the footage into capsules and dropped them from orbit into the atmosphere for collection.

Humans have continuously occupied Earth orbit for more than 15 years.

Earth has several other companions additional to our moon, such as Cruithne and the trojan asteroid 2010 TK7, which is about 300 meters large, and revolve the sun coupled to earth's orbit.

This is our collection of basic interesting facts about Earth Orbit. The fact lists are intended for research in school, for college students or just to feed your brain with new realities. Possible use cases are in quizzes, differences, riddles, homework facts legend, cover facts, and many more. Whatever your case, learn the truth of the matter why is Earth Orbit so important!

Editor Veselin Nedev Editor