Sometimes when we think about Earth and the place it holds in our universe, we get this conflicting idea in our head. While we know our planet is moving through the cosmos, it’s hard to actually imagine it because we can’t feel ourselves physically going anywhere even when we’re aware that we must be in motion.
And boy are we in motion! We’re in so much motion it’s a wonder we don’t all just get swept into the cold recesses of deep space. The earth alone is travelling at a face-stretching 67,000 mph around the sun. And it’s not just moving forward. Our planet is also spinning on its own axis at a velocity of 1,000 mph. Usain Bolt – arguably one of the fastest people on the planet – can run at top speeds of 27.79 mph. Let us all take a moment to thank our lucky stars we have so much gravity pinning us to the ground.
Speaking of gravity, we’re all fully aware of its basic functions. It stops us from falling off the surface of the earth and it gave Sir Isaac Newton one hell of a headache, which ultimately lead to the theory of gravity. But what many people don’t realize is that – according to another theory put forth by Albert Einstein in 1907 – gravity also influences not only space, but time as well.
Known as gravitational time dilation, the hypothesis states that gravity pulls on time itself, distorting it. If true, this means that the further an object is away from Earth (i.e. further from gravity’s influence), the slower time becomes. This has actually been observed in atomic clocks which have been placed at different altitudes. The higher up the clock, the slower it ticks. While it may only be off by a few nanoseconds, it’s still an interesting theory that is actually measurable.