Do all galaxies spiral in the same direction? Do all planets revolve in the same direction?

1 Answer
Feb 6, 2018

Nothing really revolves in any direction in space, it is merely the direction in which you look at the said object.


A galaxy spinning counter clockwise 'from above' would be seen to be spinning clockwise 'from below', and we must remember once more there is no really below or above in space, unless on said object we designate an area which we call 'below' or 'above'.

For example, a space shuttle has a designated above and below, and if an object was to stray into that said area, we would say it is whatever area/location it is in relation to the space shuttle, and the same could be said from observing the space shuttle, you can again describe something as being above or below it, knowing where those said zones are in relation to the shuttle.

Linking this back to a galaxy, or celestial objects, there is again really no above or below. A good example is on Earth, in the northern hemisphere, the 'above zone', looking northwards the stars move counter-clockwise, but in the southern hemisphere, the 'below (or down under) zone', looking southwards the stars rotate clockwise. A very confusing concept, which I would not think too much about an rather accept.

However, in our solar system, we have also designated an 'above' and 'below', sort of, and we find that from the 'above' which everyone imagines when thinking of the solar system, is that all the planets do orbit the sun in a counterclockwise direction. HOWEVER. They do not all rotate the same way, and we then give the example of Venus and Uranus, which spin the other way, that being clockwise -and without going into too much detail, breaks the rules of conserving momentum.
We have no idea why they spin this way on their axis.

So there we have it, celestial bodies, unless if there is a designated zone to look from, rotate in whatever direction they are observed from, which can differentiate also from said point where they are being observed i.e. southern hemisphere the sun moves 'right to left', in the northern hemisphere it is 'left to right'.

Hope this helps and explains it well.