Revolution and rotation of the earth and their differences.Although often confused there is a distinct and important difference in the concepts of revolution and rotation. Earth rotates on its axis...

Revolution and rotation of the earth and their differences.

Although often confused there is a distinct and important difference in the concepts of revolution and rotation. Earth rotates on its axis as it revolves around the sun.

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You are correct.  The concepts of revolution and rotation are often confused.  The revolution of the earth around the sun is what is responsible for our seasons.  It takes a little over 365 earth days for the planet to revolve completly around the sun one time.  Rotation of the earth on its axis however only takes 24 hours and that rotation is responsible for our days and nights.  As the earth rotates on its axis one half of the earth receives the sunlight while the opposite side is in the dark and recieives the moonlight according to the period of the quarter of the moon that is not blocked.  We have periods of no moon, new moon, quarter moon and full moon.

sunnie | Student

 As far as I understand these concepts, you are absolutely correct! Revolution is the theory that the Earth revolves or orbits around the sun in a period of approximately 365 days. Rotation is the concept that the Earth spins on an invisible tilted axis in a time of 24 hours or 1440 minutes: 86400 seconds to be technical. The difference is that revolution is the Earth moving in a circular pattern around the sun, and rotation is just the Earth spinning in a circle.   

astrosonu | Student

Rotation means rotating on its own axis.


Revolution means to go round something.

mackenzielock | Student

Earth, the third planet of our solar system revolves around the Sun once every 365 1/4 days. The elliptical orbit of the earth varies from 91.5 million miles on January 3 called "perihelion", to 94.5 million miles on July 4 called "aphelion" for an average earth-sun distance of 93 million miles. The elliptical path causes only small variations in the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth.

The Earth rotates at a uniform rate on its axis once every 24 hours.  Turning in an eastward direction the Sun "rises" in the east and seemingly "travels" toward the west during the day. The Sun isn't actually moving, it's the eastward rotation towards the morning Sun that makes it appear that way. The Earth then rotates in the opposite direction to the apparent path of the Sun. Looking down from the North Pole yields a counterclockwise direction. From over the South Pole a clockwise direction of rotation occurs. You can demonstrate this by looking down at the North Pole of a counterclockwise rotating globe. Lift the globe while keeping it spinning in a counterclockwise direction and look at it from below.

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