# With the earth rotating at a speed of around 1600 km/h, how do we get still pictures of the earth from space?

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With the earth rotating at a speed of around 1600 km/h, how do we get still pictures of the earth from space?

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I’m not really sure how you think that would effect your ability to take a photo. The Earth is big. Really big. That speed isn’t really all that fast compared to it’s size. Try taking a picture of an insect when driving by in your car at 60 mph. Yeah, you probably can’t get a picture that isn’t a blurry mess. Now try taking a picture of a mountain off in the distance. No problems here.

Also, when you’re in space, you’re not just hovering above the earth watching it spin by. You’re orbiting around it, rotating around with it. If you’re in low earth orbit at the orbital plane of the International Space Station you’re going 27,580 km/hr over the surface. If you’re in a geostationary orbit, you’re going around the earth at the same speed it rotates at, thereby the earth is motionless from your reference frame.

The circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles (40,075 km), so it’s spinning pretty slowly relative to its size (one rotation per 24 hours).

Imagine a car driving down the interstate at 70 miles per hour. If you are on the side of the road, taking a picture would be difficult. If you’re in a car also travelling 70 miles per hour, the original car would appear to be not moving at all. It’s a concept frame of reference.

That’s like… Rotate a globe around in the span of 24 hours. Do you find it hard to take picture of it?