Difference between Rotation and Revolution

Rotation vs. Revolution

What is difference between Rotation and Revolution? The rotation of the earth describes the rotation of the earth around its axis, resulting in the 24-hour phenomenon called day and night. On the other hand, revolution, describes the movement of the earth around the sun over a period of one year, causing the seasons to occur.

Difference between Rotation and Revolution

The rotation of the earth causes the difference of time between countries and continents. The part of the earth that faces the sun experiences the day while the part of the earth that is distant from the sun has the night. During the course of the revolution it depends on the hemisphere, in which it is closest to the sun, and which is farther away has summer and the farthest is winter. When both hemispheres are at the same distance from the sun, each one experiences spring or autumn respectively

The rotation of the earth on its axis follows a pattern: from west to east. The pattern of the earth around the sun during the revolution is an ellipsis and not a circle and this is the reason why sometimes the earth is closer to the sun and farther away in others, thus causing fluctuations in climate, known as seasons of the year.

The impact of rotation on earth goes beyond causing day and night. In fact it impacts on the shape of the earth, which is an oval sphere, the depth of the ocean and the movement of the tectonic plate. The earth rotates on its axis approximately 15 annular degrees per hour. For a complete revolution of the earth to occur, 365.25 days have to pass in a slightly elliptical orbit and have the sun at a focal point of the ellipse.

Rotation and revolution are terms wrongly used because they mean the same thing literally. However geographically and astronomically the terms have different meanings and connotations. From one point of view, the implications of the two phenomena are enormous. The seismic and currents activity is associated with the rotation of the earth while the climatic seasons depend completely on the revolution and this helps to anticipate and prepare us for the changes.

From the perspective of a school child, it is fascinating to discover that because rotation makes India have night and day in the United States, at the same time. You will also find it incredible that while it is the peak of winter in London in the month of December, there will be summer in Cape Town in the same month.

In fact many of the cultural, demographic and ecological differences that exist in this beautiful planet are directly linked to these two phenomena.

In Summary:

  • The rotation of the earth takes place on its axis while the revolution moves around the sun.
  • The rotation is completed in 24 hours while the revolution lasts 365 days to complete.
  • Due to the rotation, there is a difference in schedules around the countries of the world.