How fast are you now moving? Perhaps you’re reading this from the comfort of home, where you seem to be doing nothing. You may seem to be motionless when you stand still or sit down, yet you are continually in motion no matter what you do.
Because the Earth rotates at roughly 1,000 miles per hour, this is the case. In addition to its revolution, the Earth travels at a speed of 67,000 miles per hour around the Sun. Every day, we travel tens of thousands of kilometers, regardless matter how stationary we feel.
That may seem rapid, yet in comparison to certain objects in the cosmos, the Earth is hardly moving.
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The Fastest Thing In The Universe
There is a cosmic maximum speed in the cosmos itself. That is to say, the speed at which things in space may move has a limit. That speed limit is about 186,000 miles per second, and only one object in the universe moves at that rate: light.
The cosmic speed limit is known as the speed of light since light is the quickest known object in the cosmos. You will never be able to reach the speed of light, no matter how hard you try.
The cosmic speed limit, like gravity, is a natural rule that cannot be defied. Every light beam, whether it comes from a star or your iPhone flashlight, travels at 186,000 miles per second.
The Fastest Known Planet
Over the past 30 years, scientists discovered hundreds of planets orbiting stars outside of our solar system that was previously unknown. Many of these planets are diametrically opposed to the ones that circle our Sun.
Whatever sort of planets orbit a star, they all have one thing in common: their orbital velocity is proportional to the distance between them and their star. Planets circling near to their star complete their orbits quicker than planets orbiting farther away.
Mercury rotates once every 88 days, making it the quickest planet in our solar system. That may seem quick, but it pales in comparison to some of our galaxy’s other planets. NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope detected the fastest planet yet observed in 2013.
It is known as Kepler-78b and circles its star at a distance of only 900,000 miles. Mercury, by contrast, travels 36 million miles around the Sun. Kepler-78b circles its Sun at extraordinary speeds because there is very little distance between it and its parent star. Kepler-78b takes just 8.5 hours to complete one orbit around its star.
Consider what it would be like to live on a planet where a year is just 8.5 hours long. Kepler-78b is the fastest known planet in the cosmos since no other planet has been discovered with a shorter orbital period.
The Fastest Known Star
Kepler-78b is the fastest known planet in the cosmos since no other planet has been discovered with a shorter orbital period.
It may not look like it from our point of view on Earth, but the Sun is moving very quickly through space. The Sun, like the planets that circle it, revolves all around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The whole solar system is now traveling through space at 448,000 miles an hour.
Because of the huge size of the Milky Way Galaxy, it takes the Sun 230 million years to complete one orbit. Our Sun is quite sluggish in comparison to some of the other stars in the universe. The universe’s fastest known star can be found near the Milky Way’s nucleus.
It is known as US-708 and is traveling at a speed of 2.7 million miles per hour. Scientists thought US-708 was in orbit around a black hole when they initially discovered it and analyzed its velocity. The black hole’s gravitational pull would be so intense that it would have propelled US-708 to incredible speeds.
Following studies, it was discovered that US-708 may have been driven to its present speed by an exploding star. US-708 was previously a member of a binary star system, with its partner star exploding in a supernova explosion.
The subsequent explosion was so powerful that it catapulted US-708 to become the universe’s fastest star.
The Fastest Human-Made Object
We’ve talked about some of the universe’s fastest objects, but how does mankind stack up? What is the quickest object ever built by humans? Spacecraft are, as one would think, the fastest human-made things.
The Parker Solar Probe, a NASA spacecraft launched in 2018 to travel closer to the Sun than any mission before it, is currently the fastest human-made spacecraft. The Parker Solar Probe attained a maximum speed of 39,500 miles per hour when it was launched by NASA.
The Parker Solar Probe used what’s known as a gravity assist to improve its velocity throughout its journey to the Sun by making repeated flybys of the planet Venus.
The Parker Solar Probe, which reached a speed of 330,000 miles per hour in February 2020, became the fastest human-made object in history.
That’s quick enough to complete a 13-hour orbit around the Earth! This is a genuinely incredible achievement for mankind. The Parker Solar Probe, however, has only attained 0.05 percent light speed at this speed.