Q:

What is the difference between Earth's rotation and its revolution?

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Quick Answer

Rotation refers to the Earth’s spin around its internal axis, while revolution refers to the Earth’s orbital motion around the sun. The Earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours and revolves around the sun once every 365.25 days.

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Full Answer

The Earth always changes its position every day, and it moves closer to or further away from the sun. Its rotation axis is an imaginary line that passes from the North Pole to the South Pole. Compared to a revolution which takes a year, a rotation is short and occurs once a day. The sun appears to rise in the morning and set at night because of the Earth’s rotation. There are also differences in time across nations due to rotation. Countries on the side of the globe that face the sun experience daytime, while other parts of the world that are away from the sun experience night. Furthermore, the speed of rotation has significant effects on the Earth’s shape, climate, tectonic forces and ocean depth. The Earth’s revolution has impact on seasons. The different seasons are a result of the planet’s revolution around the sun. Depending on which hemisphere is closer to the sun, continents have summer and winter during the Earth’s course of revolution. Spring or autumn arrives when both hemispheres are equidistant from the sun.

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