Polaris (The North Star) & Circumpolar Rotation photos over a Sequoia Tree in the backyard of my Friends House in Warrenton, VA., showing the Earth’s Natural Rotation in 30 minutes. The rotational speed of the Earth at the equator is about 1,038 miles per hour. At mid-latitudes, the speed of the Earth’s rotation decreases to 700 to 900 miles per hour. You can notice star trails “rotation” in your photographs even in as little as 1 minute exposures. I notice star trailing in about 30 seconds with a 17mm wide angle lens. But the longer you leave the shutter open the more trailing and the more dramatic the effect!