It was 7 am when Emaad awoke. The winter season was almost to an end. Unconsciously, he looked at the calendar placed on the bedside table. He was astonished to see the date as the 29th of February. He was confused! For the last two years, he had been observing that the last date of February was 28 and thereafter, 1st March… then why the calendar was showing the 29th of February? He thought for a while and becoming confused got agitated. It was a great mystery for him. At last, he decided to ask his father. He got out of bed, washed his face, brushed his teeth, performed ablution and went to his father, who was reading a book.
Dad, I have to ask something!
Yes, of course, said his father and placed the book aside.
Dad, in the last two years, I have always seen 28 days in February. But in this year’s calendar, there are 29 days as today is 29th. What is the reason?
Good question Emaad! Sit down and I will explain to you.
As you know the earth revolves in an orbit around the sun and about its own center. It covers the whole orbit in 365.25 days. ‘0.25’ days means each year lasts 6 hours longer. Four years turn these 6 hours into 24 hours longer. Four years turn these 6 hours into 24 hours making a day. That’s why after every four years, February has 29 days. It is just due to the rotation of the earth.
Dad, what is the revolving speed of the earth in its orbit?
The earth revolves in its orbit at the speed of 1670 km/hour, Replied dad.
What does change do to earth’s revolution in its orbit?
Day and nights come due to this revolution and which also affects the temperature during day and night.
Dad, I have studied that every planet revolves around the sun including our planet, earth. What is the distance between earth and sun, asked Emaad, all anxious to know?
The distance between the earth and the sun is 130 million kilometers. It’s not a center to center distance. Center to center distance is very large, told dad.
And what is the speed of earth when it revolves around the sun, asked Emaad?
Earth revolves around the sun at a speed of 108,000 km/h. When earth revolves around the sun, seasons and years continue changing. For example, when the earth comes closer to the sun, summer starts and when it is away from the sun, the winter season starts explained dad.
Thank you so much dad, you solved a mystery for me, said Emaad.
Smiling dad replied, Son, I am really happy that you asked such a question.