NASA Goddard Planetary Scientist Dr. James O’Donoghue (@physicsJ) created another beautiful video showing the relative rotation speeds of Solar System planets.

In the video below, Dr. O’Donoghue shows the rotations of each planet moving to a relative scale. For example, the largest planet of our Solar System, Jupiter rotates around 2.4 times faster than Earth.

Venus and Uranus are moving backward as they appear to rotate counter-clockwise.

Relative rotation speeds of the planets (2D)

Relative rotation speeds of the planets, in 2D. Each planet’s rotation is shown moving to relative scale, e.g. Jupiter rotates around 2.4 times faster than Earth, Venus and Uranus are moving backward as they appear to rotate counter-clockwise.

Dr. O’Donoghue also prepared a one-way version:

Relative rotations of the planets in 2D (one-way version)

Relative rotation speeds of the planets (3D)

And here is the sphere version:

Relative rotation speeds of the planets cast to a single sphere (with apologies to Mercury and Neptune)

Relative rotation speeds and the sizes of the planets

Dr. James O’Donoghue created an amazing animation showing solar system planets, their relative rotation speeds, and their size (in scale).

This is an animation to help us really understand the size scales of the solar system, along with the rotation rates and tilts of the planets. At all times, the scale of the planets and the sun are accurate.

Rotation periods and speeds (at the equator) of Solar System planets

Planet – Rotation Period – Revolution Period – Rotation speed at the equator – Mean orbital velocity around Sun

  • Mercury – 58.6 days – 87.97 days – 10.83 km/h (6.73 mph) – 47.36 km/s (29.43 mi/s)
  • Venus – 243 days – 224.7 days – 6.52 km/h (4.5 mph) – 35.02 km/s (21.76 mi/s)
  • Earth – 1 day – 365.26 days – 1,674 km/h (1,040 mph) – 29.78 km/s (18.5 mi/s)
  • Mars – 1.03 days – 1.88 years – 866 km/h (538.1 mph) – 24 km/s (14.91 mi/s)
  • Jupiter – 0.41 days – 11.86 years – 45,583 km/h (28,324 mph) – 13.07 km/s (8.51 mi/s)
  • Saturn – 0.45 days – 29.46 years – 36,840 km/h (22,891.3 mph) – 9.68 km/s (6 mi/s)
  • Uranus – 0.72 days – 84.01 years – 14,794 km/h (9,193 mph) – 6.8 km/s (4.225 mi/s)
  • Neptune – 0.67 days – 164.79 years – 9,719 km/h (6,039 mph) – 5.43 km/s (3.374 mi/s)
  • Pluto (dwarf planet) – 6.39 days – 248.59 years – 123.21 km/h (76.56 mph) – 4.743 km/s (2.947 mi/s)

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

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