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Table of Contents
The Earth is the third planet orbiting the sun and the only known celestial object to support life. While there is a lot of water all over the solar system, only Earth has liquid surface water. The ocean covers 71% of the Earth’s surface, dwarfing ice caps, lakes, and rivers. The remaining 29% of the Earth’s surface comprises islands and continents. The Earth’s surface layer is generated by the interaction of numerous slowly moving tectonic plates, which result in mountain ranges, volcanoes, and earthquakes. The magnetic field generated by Earth’s liquid outer core forms the magnetosphere, deflecting harmful solar winds.
See the fact file below for more information on the Earth or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Earth worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
FORMATION AND NAMESAKE
- The name Earth has been in use for at least 1,000 years. Except for Earth, all planets were termed after Greek and Roman goddesses and gods. On the other hand, Earth is a German word that means “the ground.”
- When the solar system stabilized into its current configuration around 4.5 billion years ago, gravity drew spinning gas and dust in to create the third planet from the sun.
- Like the other terrestrial planets, Earth has a central core, a rocky mantle, and a solid crust.
SIZE AND SHAPE
- The Earth is the largest of the terrestrial planets, with a radius of 3,959 miles (6,371 kilometers), and the sixth most giant planet altogether. Because one astronomical unit (abbreviated as AU) is the distance from the sun to Earth, Earth is precisely one astronomical unit distant from the sun from an overall average of 93 million miles (150 million kilometers).
- This unit makes it simple to compare the distances of planets from the sun. It takes around eight minutes for sunlight to reach our world.
- The Earth is roughly spherical. Because of the rotation of the Earth, the poles flatten, and the Equator bulges. As a result, an oblate spheroid with an equatorial diameter 43 kilometers (27 miles) bigger than the pole-to-pole diameter is a better approximation of Earth’s form.
- The Earth comprises four significant layers, beginning with an inner core in the planet’s center, surrounded by the outer core, mantle, and crust.
- The inner core is a solid sphere consisting of iron and nickel metals with a radius of 759 miles (1 221 kilometers). The temperature can reach 9,800 degrees Fahrenheit (responsible 5 400 degrees Celsius).
- The outer core surrounds the inner core. This layer, comprised of iron and nickel fluids, is approximately 1 400 miles (2.300 kilometers) thick.
- The thickest layer between the outer core and the crust is the mantle. This hot viscous molten rock combination is approximately 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) wide and has the viscosity of caramel.
- The Earth’s crust extends around 19 miles (30 kilometers) deep on land. The crust is thinner at the ocean’s bottom and extends roughly 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the seabed to the top of the mantle.
- Earth features volcanoes, mountains, and valleys, just like Mars and Venus. The lithosphere of the Earth, which comprises the crust (both continental and oceanic) and the upper mantle, is separated into massive plates that move ceaselessly.
- For example, the North American Plate travels west over the Pacific Ocean basin at about the same pace our fingernails grow. When plates grind through one another, ride up, clash to form mountains or split, and separate, earthquakes occur.
- The global ocean, which covers almost 70% of Earth’s surface, has a maximum depth of roughly 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) and holds 97% of the planet’s water.
- Almost all of Earth’s volcanoes are submerged beneath these waters. The Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii is taller from base to peak than Mount Everest, yet the most significant portion of it is underwater.
- The most extended mountain range on the planet is underwater, at the bottom of the Arctic and Atlantic seas, and it is four times the length of the Andes, Rockies, and Himalayas.
ORBIT AND ROTATION
- The Earth revolves around the sun once every 23.9 hours, and one revolution around the sun takes 365.25 days. Our calendar method, which calculates one year as 365 days, is tested by the extra quarter-day.
- To maintain our yearly calendars in sync with our rotation around the sun, we add one day every four years. That day is a leap day, and the year it is added to is known as a leap year.
- The rotation of the Earth’s axis is inclined 23.4 degrees concerning the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the sun. This tilt is responsible for the annual cycle of seasons. The northern hemisphere is inclined toward the sun for a portion of the year, while the southern hemisphere is tilted away.
- Because the sun is higher in the sky, solar heating is more significant towards the north, resulting in summer, and winter in the south is caused by less direct sun warmth. Six months later, things changed. When spring and autumn arrive, the sun provides nearly equal quantities of heat to both hemispheres.
MOONS AND RINGS
- Earth is the only planet with only one moon; our moon is the most visible and well-known object in the night sky. In many respects, the moon is to blame for Earth being a wonderful place to live, and it helps stabilize our planet’s wobble, making the climate less changeable.
- Earth occasionally hosts asteroids or big objects in orbit. The gravity of Earth usually imprisons them for a few months or years before traveling to an orbit around the sun. Some asteroids will “dance” with Earth for a long time as both circle the sun.
- Some moons are fragments of rock caught by a planet’s gravity, but our moon is most likely the consequence of a billion-year-old collision. A big chunk of rock slammed into Earth when it was young, displacing a section of its interior, and our moon was created when the resultant bits clumped together.
- The moon is the fifth most giant moon in our solar system, with a radius of 1 080 miles (1,738 kilometers) (after Ganymede, Titan, Callisto, and Io).
- On average, the moon is 238 855 miles (394,400 kilometers) distant from Earth. This indicates that somewhere between Earth and its moon, 30 Earth-sized planets might fit. There are no rings on Earth.
- Near the surface of the Earth, the atmosphere is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% additional gases, including argon, carbon dioxide, and neon.
- The atmosphere influences Earth’s long-term and short-term local weather, shielding humans from much of the sun’s damaging radiation.
- It also shields us against meteoroids, most of which burn up in the atmosphere and are visible as meteors in the night sky before striking the Earth as meteorites.
- The fast spinning of our planet and its molten nickel-iron core generates a magnetic field, which is something the solar winds bend into a teardrop form in space. (The solar wind is a continuous stream of charged particles released from the sun.)
- When solar wind-charged particles become stuck in Earth’s magnetic field, they hit air molecules above our planet’s magnetic poles. These air molecules glow, resulting in aurorae, or northern and southern lights.
- The magnetic field is responsible for compass needles always pointing to the North Pole, no matter which way you turn. However, Earth’s magnetic polarity may shift, inverting the direction of the magnetic field.
- The geologic record indicates that, on average, magnetic reversals occur around every 400,000 years, but the timing is highly erratic. As far as we know, such a magnetic inversion does not endanger life on Earth, and such a reversal is highly improbable to occur for at least another thousand years.
- But when it does occur, compass needles are most likely to point in multiple directions for a few millennia as the conversion is being made. And once the swap is accomplished, they will point south instead of north.
LIFE ON EARTH
- Life forms on a planet occupy ecosystems, which combine to form the biosphere. The biosphere is separated into biomes inhabited by plants and animals that are roughly similar. Biomes on land are distinguished principally by variations in latitude, elevation above ocean level, and humidity.
- Plant and animal life is sparse in terrestrial biomes located inside the Arctic or Antarctic Circles, at high elevations, or in severely dry places; species diversity is most significant in wet lowlands at equatorial latitudes.
- Earth has a super lovely temperature and chemical mix, which has resulted in an abundance of life. Most significantly, Earth is unusual because liquid water covers most of our globe, and the temperature permits liquid water to remain for lengthy periods. Around 3.8 billion years ago, Earth’s seas provided a perfect setting for life to begin.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Earth across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Earth worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Earth, which is the third planet from the Sun and the fifth largest planet in terms of size and mass in the solar system. It is also the densest planet of all and the only known planet that can support life.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Earth Facts
- Solar System
- Mapping the World
- Earth Statistics
- Earth’s Seasons
- Earth Through Time
- Beyond the Sky
- Inside Earth
- Earth In-Between
- Earth’s Layer
- Our Earth, Our Home
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you describe Earth?
The Earth is the third planet orbiting the sun and the only known celestial object to support life. While there is a lot of water all over the solar system, only Earth has liquid surface water.
Is Earth named after a God?
Earth is a German word that means “the ground.”
What makes up the Earth?
The Earth comprises four significant layers, beginning with an inner core in the planet’s center, surrounded by the outer core, mantle, and crust.
How many moons and rings does Earth have?
Earth is the only planet with only one moon; our moon is the most visible and well-known object in the night sky.
What is the function of the magnetic field on Earth?
The magnetic field is responsible for compass needles always pointing to the North Pole, no matter which way you turn. However, Earth’s magnetic polarity may shift, inverting the direction of the magnetic field.
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Link will appear as Earth Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 8, 2018
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