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Orders of magnitude (speed): Map


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To help compare different orders of magnitude, the following list describes various speed levels between 1.3  m/s and 3  m/s.

List of orders of magnitude for speed

List of orders of magnitude for speed
Factor Value (m/s) Value (km/h) Item
10−9 1.3 4.68 Average rate of the Moon receding from the Earth (approx. 38 mm/year).
0.3 to 3 1 to 1 Typical relative speed of continental drift.
4.8 1.7 Hair growth.
10−6 1.52 5.4 Speed of a cellular vesicle propelled by a motor protein.
10−2 0.013 0.0468 Speed of a Garden snail .
10−1 0.28 1 1 km/hour.
0.447 1.6093 1 mph.
100 1 3.6 1 m/second.
1–1.5 3.6–5.4 Average walking speed.
101 11.80 42.48 Top speed of Donovan Bailey and Maurice Greene 1997 World Championship 100 meter sprint (Top speed ~42.5 km/h).
11.1–16.7 40–60 Typical speed of car (city road), typical speed of road-race cyclist.
5–25 18–90 Speed of propagation for unmyelinated sensory neurons.
30 108 Typical speed of car (major road), Cheetah—fastest of all terrestrial animals, Sailfish—fastest Fish. Speed of go-fast boat.
36 130 Land speed record for a human powered vehicle.
40 144 Typical peak speed of a local service train (or intercity on lower standard tracks).
90 320 Typical speed of a modern high-speed train (e.g. latest generation of production TGV), a diving Peregrine Falcon—fastest bird.
98.6 355 Maximum speed of the Enzo Ferrari.
102 103 370 Speed of super torpedo VA-111 Shkval.
105.5 379.8 Maximum speed of a Ferrari F50 GT1.
113.3 407.4 Maximum speed of the Bugatti Veyron (currently the second fastest production car in the world).
114.52 417.5 Maximum speed of the SSC Ultimate Aero TT (currently the fastest production car in the world).
120 432 Speed of propagation for mammalian motor neurons.
130 468 Wind speed of a tornado.
150.6 539 Top speed of an internal combustion powered NHRA Top Fuel Dragster.
152.7 550 Speed of Transrapid.
157 575 Speed of experimental test TGV in 2007.
161 580 Speed of JR-Maglevmarker in 2003.
250 900 Typical cruising speed of a modern jet airliner, e.g. an Airbus A380.
331.5 1,193.4 Speed of sound in air at sea level and 0 °C.
344.66 1,240.77 Max speed reached by the jet-propelled car ThrustSSC in 1997—Land speed record.
428 1,540.8 Max speed of Bell X-1.
464 1,670 Speed of Earth's rotation at the equator.
603 2,170.8 Speed of the Concorde airliner.
975 3,510 Muzzle velocity of M16 rifle.
981 3,532 SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest aircraft driven by a mechanical jet engine.
103 1,500 5,400 Speed of sound in water.
2,000 7,200 Estimated speed of a thermal neutron.
2,019 7,268.4 Speed of the North American X-15 rocket plane.
3,111 11,199.6 Speed of the X-43 rocket/scramjet plane.
7,777 28,000 Propagation of the explosion in a detonating cord, typical speed of a satellite and the space Shuttle in low Earth orbit.
104 11,082 39,895 Speed of Apollo 10—High speed record for manned vehicle.
11,200 40,320 Escape velocity from Earth.
12,900 46,440 Re-entry speed of return capsule for Stardust space probe—Fastest re-entry speed for man-made object.
16,210 58,356 Escape speed from Earth by NASA New Horizons spacecraft—Fastest escape velocity.
29,800 107,280 Speed of the Earth in orbit around the Sun.
70,220 252,792 Speed of the Helios 2 solar probe—Fastest man-made object.
105 200,000 700,000 Orbital speed of the solar system in the Milky Way galaxy.
450,000 1,600,000 Typical speed of a particle of the solar wind, relative to the Sun.
552,000 1,990,000 Speed of the Milky Way, relative to the cosmic microwave background.
617,700 2,224,000 Escape velocity from the surface of the Sun.
106 1,000,000 3,600,000 Typical speed of a Moreton wave across the surface of the Sun.
107 10,000,000 36,000,000 Typical speed of a fast neutron.
30,000,000 100,000,000 Typical speed of an electron in a cathode ray tube.
108 124,000,000 447,000,000 Speed of light in a diamond (Refractive index 2.417).
200,000,000 720,000,000 Speed of a signal in a cable.
299,792,458 1,079,252,848.8 Speed of light (or electromagnetic radiation) in vacuum (see the Speed of light).

Comparison of speeds in mph and km/h

mph]] and km/h
Value (mph) Value (km/h) Item
3 mph 5 km/h Walking speed
12-15 mph 20-25 km/h Comfortable bicycling speed.
27 mph 43 km/h Top speed of a professional sprinter (11.9 m/s).
18–31 mph 30-50 km/h Typical residential speed limit.
Top speed of a running cat, or dog.
45–62 mph 72–100 km/h Speed limit on a major road.
Top speed of an antelope.
55-81 mph 88–130 km/h Highway or motorway speed.
Top speed of a cheetah.
103 mph 166 km/h Top speed (as of 2006) of a baseball pitcher's fastball.
128 mph 206 km/h The normal launch speed of the world's fastest roller coaster, Kingda Kamarker.
190 mph 300 km/h Typical top running speed of High-speed train.
256.15 mph 412.23 km/h Top speed of the world's fastest production car (SSC Ultimate Aero).
560 mph 900 km/h Jet airliner cruising speed.
761 mph 1,225 km/h The speed of sound on sea level in standard atmosphere (15 °C & 1 atm).
763 mph 1,228 km/h Current world land speed record.
6,000 mph 9,600 km/h Speed of wind on exoplanet HD 189733b.
16,250 mph 26,000 km/h Re-entry speed of a space shuttle.
24,759 mph 40,320 km/h Earth's escape velocity at the equator.
670,616,628.6 mph 1,079,252,848.8 km/h Speed of light.

Example speeds in m/s

Value (m/s) Item
0.00275 m/s World record speed of the fastest snail in the Congham, UK .
0.080 m/s The top speed of a sloth (= 8.0 cm/s).
1.2 m/s A typical human walking speed (2.7 mph or 4.3 km/h); below a speed of about 2 m/s, it is more efficient to walk than to run, but above that speed, it is more efficient to run.

The speed of signals (action potentials) traveling along axons in the human cortex.
2 m/s Maximum allowed wind speed in athletics competition for meet records to be set. Common in the sprints, jumping, and some of the throwing events.
32 m/s Oft-quoted top speed of cheetah, the fastest land mammal (~110-120 km/h).
89 m/s Speed of Peregrine falcon in a dive. Also the 320 km/h or 200 mph Supercar limit: A parameter sometimes used in defining a supercar [93410].
120 m/s The maximum speed of signals (action potentials) traveling along myelinated axons in the spinal cord.
336 m/s The speed of sound in the Black Rock Desertmarker when the land speed record was set in 1997.
341 m/s The current land speed record, which was set by ThrustSSC in 1997. This was supersonic (Mach 1.016) in the Black Rock Desertmarker at the time but might not have been supersonic in other places.
343 m/s The approximate speed of sound under standard conditions, which varies according to air temperature.
559 m/s The average speed of the Concorde's Atlantic crossing (1996, based on 1250 mph).
1,000 m/s The speed of a typical rifle bullet.
The average top speed of a sub-orbital spacecraft.
1,400 m/s The speed of the Space Shuttle when the solid rocket boosters separate.
4,500 m/s A typical value for the specific impulse of current rockets is 4.5 km/s.
8,000 m/s The speed of the Space Shuttle at main engine shutdown just before it enters orbit.
17,000 m/s The approximate speed of the Voyager 1 probe relative to the sun, when it exited the Solar System.
100,000,000 m/s The escape velocity of a neutron star.
299,792,458 m/s The speed of light (exact value by definition of the metre).

See also


  1. ThrustSSC
  3. World snail racing championships
  4. Speed of the Voyager Space Probes

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