Earth is the largest of the inner planets and the only planet in our solar system that is known to support life. Formed around 4.5 billion years ago Earth is the only planet not named after a Roman or Greek God or Goddess, instead it is an English/German word meaning the ground. The Earth is the third planet from the sun. Our atmosphere, made up of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet solar radiation and incoming meteoroids which mostly break up when entering the atmosphere. Earth orbits the sun every 365 days, known as 1 year.
The Earth is made up of four concentric layers:
The inner core – Located at the centre of the Earth approximately 1200km thick, the inner core is a solid layer made up of Iron and nickel. Temperatures at the inner core can reach up to 5500 degrees Celsius.
The outer core – This is a liquid layer made up of Iron and nickel that surrounds the inner core, it’s about 2300 km thick and is the second hottest layer
Mantle – The mantle is the next layer, at 2900 km thick it is made up of molten rock also known as magma. The part of the mantel closest to the outer core is soft due to melting while the rock closest to the crust is solid.
The crust – The crust is split into two parts, the continental crust and the Oceanic crust. The crust varies between the continents and the oceans ranging from 0km to 60km thick.
Facts about Earth
- 70% of the Earth is covered in water, Earth is the only planet on which water can exist in liquid form on the surface of the planet
- The Earth actually takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds to rotate on its axis rather than 24 hours
- The distance from Earth to the Moon is 384,400 km
- The hottest recorded temperature on Earth was 57 degrees Celsius in California, the Coldest was -94.7 degrees Celsius in Antartica
- Antarctica contains 70% of Earths fresh water and 90% of its ice
- The highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest standing over 7200 meters above sea level
- Chinas air pollution is visible from space
- 100 Tons of small meteorites, mainly dust fragments enter the Earth’s atmosphere every day
- 8.6 million lightning strikes happen every day
- 97% of the Earths water is salted
- 90% of all volcanic activity occurs in the ocean
- The deepest part of the ocean is Mariana Trench located in the Pacific ocean,it has a known depth of 10.9 km, almost 7 miles
- The continents move 2cm every year
- Diameter (Km) 12,756
- Mass 5.97219 × 1024 kilograms
- Density (Kg/m³) 5514
- Temperature (°C) -88 to 58
- Distance from sun (Km) 149.6 million
- Rotation period 23.9 hours
- Length of Day 24 hours
- Orbital period 365.2 days
- Number of moons 1
- Magnetic field Yes
- Ring system No