Wondering about wild grapes

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wondering about speed.

Did you ever stop to think just how fast things move? I actually move pretty slowly, but there are slower things, like snails and the rate that a tree grows and the movement of tectonic plates, unless they build up pressure and move all at once – Earth Quake! But most things are faster than I am, except back when I had my 1957 Chevy Convertible with the souped up engine that would turn over 8000 rpm’s. Then I was fast!!! But there are a lot of things a lot faster than that. Really? Yeah, really!

The planet we live on is no slow poke. It moves along its orbit at about 18.5 miles per second; that is 66,600 miles per hour. If it speeded up it would move further away from the sun and if it slowed down, it would move closer to the sun. So far, there has been nothing to make it speed up that I know of but there have been some small things that may have slowed it up a tad. Anything traveling in our own orbit can neither catch us nor can we catch them. Therefore, any other object in out orbit would pose no threat of collision with us, unlike cars going down the road in the same lane.

Now we got that settled, but how do we get hit with stuff. Everything that hits us is moving in another direction from somewhere else in the universe or is in some kind of elongated elliptical orbit, like comets from the Oort Cloud. Also, something can be in the same orbit but may be going in the opposite direction and then can hit us head on at twice our speed. (Like some meteor showers do)

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is moving, from large bodies down to atoms and particles. So, what is the maximum speed limit? It has always been thought to be the speed of light, and so far it has not been proven wrong that I know of. Some things, like very distant galaxies appear to be moving away from us at more than the speed of light. How could this be? Well, one explanation is that they are moving really fast, but of course they are not but if they were it would be no where near the speed of light. The actual space between them and us is expanding at a terrific speed. I don’t think it is expanding more than the speed of light, but if you were standing half way between the distant galaxies and the earth, both would be moving away under the speed of light, but standing on earth the apparent speed is doubled. Am I making myself clear? No? Ok, sorry.

You all have a nice SLOW day now, you hear?


  1. Too fast for me for sure.
    Now I want to ask. How to they (who ever They are) measure the speeds at which the items are moving? Can't bounce a laser off them like my level/measuring device. What if their calculations are off , out of kilter?
    Seriously how do they measure the distances ?

  2. They use Type 1a Super Novi as a standard candle, since they are all about the same brighness. Then they can approximate the distance by how much the light has dimmed.

  3. Hard to contemplate all this so early in the day!

    I don't feel like I'm moving very fast, let me tell ya!

  4. lol HJ, too much for me too. Always slow in the mornings...lololol

  5. Speed. I may have told you this before DD but I don't drive or do anything very fast so for the last 11 years on the road, I haven't passed another vehicle. A few tractors and parked cars perhaps...

  6. I was happy when DSL came to my neighborhood, dial-up R.I.P. Other than that I'm rather slow with tech stuff..have my husbands old flip phone that I forget to turn on or hang up on the person calling when I answer. Driving--slow
    walking--slow. I'm a dawdler but I think thats due to the fact I'm a gawker...probably why I drive slow too!

  7. Hermit, You are moving fast if you are on board the earth, (grin).

    Trouble, I, too, am getting a lot slower.

    TFT, You know, you got me thinking and I believe on my last July’s trip through 13 states I only passed an old farmer on a tractor.

    Jill, DSL made me happy, too. I have a flip cell phone and so does my wife. Does that make us “old fashioned”? At least my cell phone doesn’t have a rotory dial. . .

  8. Hell I'm still using a brick phone, and refuse to get one of them fancy pansy flip phones ! When my brick dies it will be the end of cell phones for me. I'm going backwards at warp speed...with the economy doing what it is, figure I might as well get there first.

  9. Spud, backwards is good direction to go. A lot more of us ought to do just that.