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Physics/How many times does the Earth spin in the course of one year?


Hi, how are you? I am bored and curious. The Earth performs two types of spins- revolutions and rotations. The Earth rotates on its axis 24 times a day, and the Earth revolves around the sun 365 in a year, or 366 if it is a leap year. So wouldn't the Earth perform 365*24, or 8760 spins in one year, or 366*24, or 8784 spins in a leap year? Please help- thank you.

First of all, the Earth goes around the Sun every 365.25 days, so once every four years we make up the difference with a leap day.  This is the same every year, not different on leap years.  It's just a mechanism we use to make our calendar correct.

The Earth's revolution that we call a day is relative to the Sun.  Once every 24 hours.  The position of the Earth relative to the Sun is in its revolution.  So the Earth spins 365.25 times each time it goes around the Sun.  You don't multiply spinning by revolutions.  They're independent type of movements.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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