Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, February 16, 2015

Wondering About the Speed of Things

I got thinking what is the fastest speed obtained by things, including living creatures, here, in the sea, and out in space.  I bet you all know what the fastest land animal is, right?  No, it isn't the hare or the tortoise, it is the Cheetah.  Not only does it hold the title for the fastest top speed, it is also not a slouch in the acceleration department.  Its top speed is 75 mph and it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds.  Yep, I don't think you could outrun a Cheetah.

So, what about in the water?  That would be the sailfish and 68 mph.  In the air?  That would be the Peregrine Falcon at over 200 mph.

Then there is things that mankind has ridden on or in.  We have come a long way from horseback to the fastest street legal car, the Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 which can reach 268 mph.  Wouldn't do much good here during the Houston rush hours.

In the air, it would be the North American X-15 at 4520 mph.  Heck at that speed I could fly to either the West Coast or the East Coast for my lunch hour and not be late getting back.  Just think about how really fast that is!!

Back a few years ago the military was experimenting with rocket sleds.  Do you know that they managed to reach mach 8.5, of course there were no humans riding on those.

I am sure you have heard the term "escape velocity".  A rocket has to reach at least the minimum speed that is required to break free of Earth's gravity and this speed is called the escape velocity. Well did you know that our galaxy also has an escape velocity?  Yep, in order for anything to exit our galaxy, it has to reach a minimum speed of 1,230,000 mph.  Now let's see your Bugatti do that?  Now, slow down a bit and have a great day, you hear?

Galaxy's escape velocity - 1,230,000 mph


  1. A million 2+ MPH to escape the galaxy? How did they come up with that huge number??

    Speaking of galaxy, that's my new 'word'. It's HUGE! I watched this 4 min video and was awe struck my the use of the word "galaxy".
    The number of stars represented is more than I can wrap my mind around...

    Happy President's Day DD! (it's neither Washington nor Lincoln's any more)

    1. I got that number out of my Astronomy magazine, and yep, huge is an understatement. I still think of it in terms of Lincoln and Washington.

    2. Contrary to popular belief, neither Congress nor the President has ever stipulated that the name of the holiday observed as Washington’s Birthday be changed to “President’s Day.”

      This past Monday was the federal holiday Washington's Birthday.

  2. Replies
    1. Maybe that is why all galaxies are floating islands in space.

  3. I was driving on a desert road between Fish Springs NWR and Salt Lake City and a startled pronghorn started running along side me. I kept at his speed... 35 mph.... for over 3 miles before he veered off through the desert. Cheetah might be faster, but, wow, could that critter run. Do you remember in the 50's when airplanes would break the sound barrier? I don't know how fast they were going, but they sure could shake our windows!

  4. 767.27 mph is the speed of sound at sea level and of course it is lower the higher you get. Yes, I remember that. My best friend in high school had a sonic boom damage the stone house that they lived in along with some broken windows.

  5. Then there's the speed of light. Light speed, not just a good idea. It's the law.