Differences between Rotation and Revolution

The world observes Earth’s Rotation Day, annually on 8 January. But do you know that rotation is the movement of the Earth on its axis, whereas revolution is the movement of the Earth around the Sun?
Differences between Rotation and Revolution
Differences between Rotation and Revolution

January 8 is annually observed as Earth's Rotation Day. This marks the anniversary of French physicist Leon Foucault's 1851 discovery that the Earth revolves on its axis. With an inclination of 23.45 degrees from the plane of its orbit around the sun, Earth revolves on its axis in relation to the sun every 24.0 hours mean solar time.

But do you know what is rotation and revolution?

Differences between Rotation and Revolution


The meaning of "rotation" is the circular movement of an item about a fixed point or the turning around of its own axis. A three-dimensional object rotates along a fictitious axis known as the rotational axis.

Every point forms a circle around the pivotal point during rotation. Therefore, the distance between the center and each point on the form is the same. It is stated in terms of degrees, with a clockwise rotation producing negative degrees and an anticlockwise revolution producing positive degrees.

The earth's rotation, which creates day and night and takes around 24 hours to complete, is the most well-known example of rotation.


The term "revolution" is used to describe a motion in which an object moves in a circular direction around an object or center, along a fixed route or orbit. It entails turning around an external axis, or axis outside the item.

The circumference of a circle is the distance that an object travels in one revolution. The period, denoted by the symbol T, is the length of time it takes an object to make one revolution around a circle.

It takes 365 days and 6 hours for the Earth to complete one anticlockwise rotation around the Sun. It is the only factor responsible for changing the seasons.

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Key Differences between Rotation and Revolution



Rotation refers to a circular motion around an axis, located within the body of the object.

Revolution means a circular motion around an axis, located outside the object.

It’s usually the movement of an object on its axis.

A complete round trip around something.

A rotating object spins around an internal axis

Whereas revolution is when an object travels around an external axis.

An object does not change its position.

The revolving object continuously changes position.

For Example Hands of Clock

For Example Merry Go Round

Rotation and Revolution period of Planets





88 Days

59 Days


224.7 Days

243 Days


365.2 Days

23 hrs 56 mins 4 secs


687 Days

24 hrs 37 mins


11.86 Years

9 hrs 55 mins 30 secs


29.46 Years

10 hrs 40 mins 24 secs


84 Years

16 hrs 8 min


165 Years

16 hrs 11 mins

Just keep in mind the hands of the clock and your favourite merry-go-round to recall the difference that explains rotation implies spinning around one's own axis, and revolution means moving around another object.

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