Happy 2nd trip around The Sun, Greyson Lorang

Well kiddo, congratulations.  Today is your 2nd birthday! 

That means you’ve made it two trips around the Sun, my son.

To provide some perspective, that’s a LONG ways to travel.

Greyson - Hiking through Boulder
Greyson – Hiking through Boulder

Let me break it down for you, Math-dad style:

The distance from the Earth to the Sun is about 93 Million Miles

If you treat the orbit of the Earth around the Sun as a circle (it’s not, but let’s do that for simplicity) that means the radius of the circle, r, is 93 Million miles.

The formula for the circumference of that circle is 2πr.

You remember π.  It’s equal to roughly 3.14 and on March, 14th, you wear your Pi Day shirt and we eat lots of Pie!

Greyson - Ping Pong and Pi
Greyson – Ping Pong and Pi

So, rough numbers, π times 2 times 93 million miles equals 584 million miles!

That means in two years, you have traveled 1,168 million miles around The Sun!

There are about 365 days in a year, so that equates to 730 days.  If you divide 1,168 million miles by 730 days, that comes to 1.6 million miles per day!  

With 24 hours in a day, that equals 66,666 miles per hour!

Now, that’s fast!

Choo Choo!
Choo Choo!

But wait: there’s more!

The Sun is at the center of our Solar System. 

And the Solar System itself is orbiting our Galaxy, the Milky Way, at about 500,000 miles per hour!

So now, that means that while you are traveling 66,666 miles per hour relative to the Sun, the Sun is moving at 500,000 miles per hour relative to the center of the Galaxy!

I will leave out all the complicated relative velocity calculations and orbital dynamics, but that means that roughly half the time, you are moving FASTER than 500,000 miles per hour around the Milky Way,

The other half the time, you are moving SLOWER than 500,000 miles per hour around the Milky Way.

Greyson channeling his inner Costanza
Greyson channeling his inner Costanza

Don’t worry – this will all become clearer in a couple years when you learn all the astrophysics calculations.  I am pretty sure they start teaching that in 2nd grade these days.

Greyson in the Lab
Greyson in the Lab

If that doesn’t blow your mind, this will:

The Miky Way itself is moving through the Universe at incredibly high speeds.

Whoa, that's fast Dad! Can we go faster?
Whoa, that’s fast Dad! Can we go faster?

In fact, it’s estimated that the Milky Way is moving at 1.3 Million miles per hour through the Cosmos!

So, in total, that means in your two years, you have traveled:

– 1.17 Billion miles around the Sun

– 8.76 Billion miles around the Milky Way

– 22.8 Billion miles through the Cosmos

That’s s a whole lotta Universal Frequent Flier miles, kiddo.

Whoa!  That's a lot of miles!
Whoa! That’s a lot of miles!

And I gotta tell you, it’s been a heckuva journey for your Mom and me. We can’t wait for the next tens of billions of miles with you, Greyson.

We’re all on this trip through the stars together, and I couldn’t be happier to be making it with you!

Love, DAD

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