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HomescienceThe Earth does not revolve around the Sun at this time

The Earth does not revolve around the Sun at this time

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When we learn about the solar system, while we are still in elementary school, we learn that the planet Earth revolves around the sun. Although this is not wrong, this is just a simplified way of what happens. In reality, we are almost always orbiting another planet. A point in space.

This happens depending on IFLScienceBecause when two objects orbit around each other, they both exert a gravitational force, that is, they pull each other, causing them to rotate around a common center of mass, called the barycenter.

For those in a hurry:

  • In the solar system, the center of mass is close to its star, but not at its center, due to the presence of gas giants;
  • In this way, the Earth technically orbits around an empty point in space;
  • The same thing happens with the Moon and Earth, where the satellite orbits around a point far from the center of the planet.
Gas giants form the center of the solar system outside the sun (Credit: Withan Tor/Shutterstock)

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The Earth revolves around an empty point

In the case of the Solar System, because the Sun is much larger than any other body, the center of the planets is closer to our star, but the gravitational pull of gas giants, such as Jupiter and Saturn, means that it is rarely inside the Sun.

In the planetary model below, developed by astronomer and science communicator James O'Donoghue, it is possible to see what the solar system, its center, and the orbits of its planets look like.

Therefore, the Earth does not revolve around the Sun, or a point within it; In fact, its external center. Our planet revolves around an empty point in space. But in a post in

The planets generally orbit the Sun, but *technically* they don't orbit the Sun alone because the (mostly) gravitational influence of Jupiter means the planets have to orbit a new point in space. Of course the planets revolve around the sun, we're just being pedantic about the situation. The normal idea is that we orbit around the center of the Sun, but this happens very rarely, that is, it is very rare for the center of mass of the solar system to be aligned with the center of the Sun.

James O'Donoghue

The same is true for the Earth and the Moon (Credit: Paul Prescott/ Shutterstock)
The same is true for the Earth and the Moon (Credit: Paul Prescott/ Shutterstock)

The same thing happens with other smaller bodies, such as the Earth and the Moon, and our satellite orbits around a point about 5,000 kilometers away from the center of our planet.

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Although knowing whether or not the Earth revolves around the Sun does not change practically anything in our lives, it is interesting to know that we almost always revolve around an empty point in space.

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