One of the great discoveries of the Modern Age was that the Earth is round and that, in fact, it is the Earth itself that moves around the Sun and not the other way around as previously thought. Some great thinkers of antiquity, such as Aristarchus of Samos, already proposed a heliocentric model in the 3rd century BC but, despite this, it took more than a thousand years for Copernicus to reformulate this theory and open scientific knowledge and astronomical to the heliocentric model that we know today.
When did the Earth begin to move?
If we want to understand why the Earth moves, the first thing we have to do is go back to the very formation of the Solar System . In the beginning, before the Earth and any other planet existed, the Sun was formed from the union of clouds of space dust that tended to clump together due to the effect of gravity. Little by little, the greater amount of the mass present in space gathered in the center of the gravitational field, forming what would be the Sun. However, some masses of matter would stay away from that center, and would begin to orbit around it. by effect of gravity. It is at this point that these masses of matter and space dust begin to group into larger units, giving rise to the planets and their corresponding satellites, creating, little by little, the current structure of our solar system .
In this way, in reality, the question about when the Earth began to move does not have a clear answer, since, since before its own formation , it was already in motion. In this way, when the Earth was completed and gave rise to its state as a solid planet, it continued to move by the inertia of the movement itself of the formation of the solar system and the planet itself. In other words, the movement of the planets around their star is a natural consequence of their formation process.
However, when talking about the movement of the Earth, it is necessary to specify, since, at least, one can speak of two well differentiated movements :
- On the one hand, we have the translational movement , which is what our planet makes around the Sun, and which corresponds to the unit of measurement of time known as “year”.
- Likewise, we also have the rotational movement , which is the one carried out by the Earth itself on itself, and which corresponds to the unit of measurement called “day”.
On the other hand, we can also speak of a third movement that, although it is less well known than the previous two, is also essential to determine the changes that occur on our planet as a result of the movements it performs. It is about the precession movement , which consists of the movement that the Earth makes with respect to its own axis. The consequence of this movement is the seasons of the year, and the consequence that during the summers there are more hours of light than during the winter.
In fact, the Earth is hurtling towards its own end. Although from a human perspective the case of an imperceptible decline, the movement itself l to Earth tends to fall into the gravitational field of the sun . In this hypothetical event, the Earth would end up stopping when hitting its star. Although, once the impact occurred, the Earth would simply disappear as it merged with the mass of the Sun.
However, this scenario is a hypothesis that should not worry us since, before the Earth can “fall” into the Sun, the Sun itself will have been consumed in the form of a supernova. That is, before the Earth came to a halt by falling precipitously into the center of the solar system’s gravitational field , the Solar System itself would have collapsed as a result of the Sun’s fuel (mainly hydrogen) having been consumed, ending any possibility of a more distant future in which our planet continues to exist.