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Difference Between Rotation and Revolution

Main Difference

The main difference between Rotation and Revolution is that Rotation is the circular movement of an object around its own axis, while Revolution is the circular movement of an object around another object or center.

Rotation vs. Revolution

The circular movement of an object on its own axis or around an internal axis is known as rotation. On the other hand, the circular movement of an object around any other object or external axis is known as revolution.

There is no change in the position of an organism due to rotation. On the other side, the revolution of an object also causes a change in its position. A spinning top is an example of rotation, whereas; merry go round is the example of revolution.

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Rotation of the earth regulates the day, i.e., when earth completes one rotation on its own axis, one day is completed. On the flip side, the revolution of earth regulates one complete year, i.e., when earth completes its single revolution around the sun, one year is completed. So, it’s mean that, when earth completes its single revolution, earth has rotated 365 times on its own axis. Moreover, in rotation, the earth rotates around its own axis in the west to the east path. On the other hand, in revolution, the earth revolves around the sun in an elliptical path.

Comparison Chart

RotationRevolution
The circular movement of an object around its own axis is known as rotation.The circular movement of an object around any other object is known as revolution.
Axis
An item rotates around an internal axis.An item revolves around an external axis.
Motion of Earth
Rotation of earth refers to spinning on its own axis.The revolution of the earth is referred to its movement around the sun.
Completion of a Cycle
A single rotation of earth completes in a period of 24 hours that causes the day and night cycle.A single revolution of earth completes in one year.
Causes
Rotation of earth causes different time zones.The revolution of the earth causes a change in seasons and weather in different regions of the world.
Path of Motion
Earth rotates around its own axis in the west to the east path.The revolution of the earth around the sun is in a counter-clockwise direction.
Speed
The speed of rotation of the earth may be different at different points of the earth.The speed of the earth’s revolution is almost the same at all the points of the earth.
Speed Rate
At the equator of the earth, the speed of rotation is almost 100 mph.The speed of the revolution of the earth is incredible at 66000 mph.
Effects
Rotation of earth causes and produces tides, winds, currents, and bulges at the equator of the earth.The revolution of the earth causes equinox and solstice and plays an important role in balancing centripetal and centrifugal forces of the earth.
Effects on Tides, Currents, and Winds
Rotation of earth around its own axis effect currents, tides, and winds on earth.The revolution of the earth only affects tides.
Change in Position
The rotation of an object does not change its position.The revolution of an object also causes a change in its position.
Examples
The spinning top and hands of a clock are examples of rotation.Merry go round and rounding a curve on a bike are the examples of revolution.
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What is the Rotation?

The word ‘rotation’ is referred to the circular movement of an item about a point, i.e., its own axis. Actually, there is an imaginary line which is called as the rotational axis. A three-dimensional item rotates around this axis.

During the rotatory movement of an object, each and every point of the object forms a circle around the central point. Thus, any point of the shape has an equal distance from the center or axis. It is expressed in the form of degrees, i.e., the degrees are negative when the rotation is in a clockwise direction, whereas when there is an anticlockwise rotation, it will cause positive degrees.

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There are different examples of rotation in this universe, i.e., Spinning top and hands of a clock, etc. but, the best example of rotation is the movement of the earth around its own axis. It rotates in a counter-clockwise direction that is from East to West.

Earth completes its single cycle around its axis in about 23 hours,56 minutes, and 4.09 seconds. It causes different time zones in different continents and countries of the earth. During this motion, the areas of Earth that are towards the sun will show day time, whereas the other half that is away from the sun will show night time.

At the equator, the speed of rotation of the earth is approximately 1038 miles per hour. This speed decreases continuously towards the poles and reaches zero at poles. The rotation of earth also causes an effect that is the reason for a slight “wobble” because the planet rotates on its axis.

Rotation of the Earth Causes Effects

  • Tectonic movements
  • The apparent movement of stars and sun
  • The depth of the ocean
  • Provides the knowledge of the directions
  • Sense of time
  • The planet’s shape,
  • Deflections of the oceanic currents and winds
  • Coriolis effect
  • Rotation of earth also causes a bulge at the equator
  • Tides after regular intervals

What is Revolution?

The word ‘Revolution’ stands for a circular motion in which an object moves around any other object in a fixed path or orbit. So, it involves an external axis for its movement, i.e., axis outside the object. The distance that an object traveled in one revolution around the circle is equal to its circumference. The time required to complete one revolution by a body is known as the period and is represented by T. Revolution of an object also changes its position.

There are also different examples for revolution in this universe, i.e., Merry go round and round a curve on a bike, etc. but the best-known example is the revolution of the earth around the sun. Beside rotating on its own axis, the earth also revolves around the sun. One revolution takes a complete year to end.

It revolves in an anticlockwise manner that completes its cycle in 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, and 9.5 seconds. During this time period, the earth covers a distance of 595 million miles around the sun.

The earth revolves in a path which is known as the earth’s orbit. It is nearly circled in shape, but if we are speaking strictly, it is not a circle. The earth shows circular motion around the sun in an elliptical path. The average distance between the Earth and the sun is around 93 million miles, and this distance varies by 2 million miles that form a slightly oval path.

The earth is rotating around the sun with a speed of 18 miles per second or 66000 miles per hour. On the other side, at the same time, the earth is rotating once every twenty-four hours.

This revolution of earth is responsible for causing seasons to change. During the revolution, which hemisphere will be closest to the sun, will experience summer. On the other hand, the hemisphere, which is farthest to the sun, will face winter. When both hemispheres are at equal distance from the sun, they will face autumn or fall.

Due to the elliptical path, our planet is farther or nearer to the sun at different times that results in different seasons. Moreover, it also causes the solstice and equinox and plays an important role in balancing centripetal and centrifugal forces of the earth.

Key Differences

  1. The circular movement of an object around its own axis is known as rotation, whereas the circular movement of an object around any other object is known as revolution.
  2. The rotation of an object takes place around an internal axis; on the other hand, in revolution, an object revolves around an external axis.
  3. The rotation of an item does not change its position. Conversely, the revolution of an object also causes a change in its position.
  4. Rotation of earth refers to its spinning on its own axis. On the flip side, the revolution of the earth is its movement around the sun.
  5. A single rotation of earth completes in a period of 24 hours that causes the day and night cycle. On the other side, a single revolution of earth completes in one year.
  6. Rotation of earth causes different time zones, while the revolution of the earth causes a change in seasons and weather in different regions of the world.
  7. Earth rotates around its own axis in the west to the east path in rotation. On the other hand, the direction of the revolution of the earth is counter-clockwise.
  8. The speed of rotation of the earth may be different at different points of the earth, whereas the speed of the revolution of earth is almost the same at all points of the earth.
  9. At the equator of the earth, the speed of rotation is almost 100 mph. On the flip side, the speed of the revolution of earth is incredible at 66000 mph.
  10. Rotation of earth causes and produces tides, winds, currents, and bulge at the equator of the earth. On the other side, the revolution of the earth causes equinox and solstice and plays an important role in balancing centripetal and centrifugal forces of the earth.
  11. Rotation of earth surrounding its own axis that affects currents, tides, and winds; conversely, the revolution of the earth only affects tides.
  12. The spinning top and hands of a clock are examples of rotation. On the other hand, merry go round and round a curve on a bike are examples of revolution.

Comparison Video

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Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that Rotation and Revolution are two types of circular motion. Rotation refers to the circular motion of a body around its internal axis, e.g., rotation of the earth around its own axis. On the other hand, Revolution is the circular movement of an object around any other object, e.g., the motion of the earth around the sun.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss