Planet Earth: Facts About Its Orbit, Atmosphere & Size
Learn about Earth science facts and the planet's interior composition, surface and atmosphere. Earth is the fifth largest of the planets in the solar system. Earth's axis of rotation is tilted in relation to the ecliptic plane. The earth receives almost all its energy from the Sun"s radiation. respect to the ecliptic and due to the fact that the axis is always pointed to the same direction. The Sun gives life to the Earth and the Earth would have no life at all without the energy it receives from the Sun. Starts. The Sun is only one of millions and.
Earth's orbit is not a perfect circle, but rather an oval-shaped ellipse, similar to the orbits of all the other planets.
Our planet is a bit closer to the sun in early January and farther away in July, although this variation has a much smaller effect than the heating and cooling caused by the tilt of Earth's axis. Earth happens to lie within the so-called "Goldilocks zone" around the sun, where temperatures are just right to maintain liquid water on our planet's surface.
Average distance from the sun: As the nebula collapsed because of its gravity, it spun faster and flattened into a disk. Most of the material was pulled toward the center to form the sun. Other particles within the disk collided and stuck together to form ever-larger bodies, including Earth. Scientists think Earth started off as a waterless mass of rock.
But in recent years, new analyses of minerals trapped within ancient microscopic crystals suggests that there was liquid water already present on Earth during its first million years, Marchi said.
Radioactive materials in the rock and increasing pressure deep within the Earth generated enough heat to melt the planet's interior, causing some chemicals to rise to the surface and form water, while others became the gases of the atmosphere.
Sun and Earth
Recent evidence suggests that Earth's crust and oceans may have formed within about million years after the planet took shape. Internal structure Earth's core is about 4, miles 7, km wide, slightly larger than half the Earth's diameter and about the same size as Mars ' diameter.
The outermost 1, miles 2, km of the core are liquid, while the inner core is solid; it's about four-fifths as big as Earth's moon, at some 1, miles 2, km in diameter. The core is responsible for the planet's magnetic fieldwhich helps to deflect harmful charged particles shot from the sun. Above the core is Earth's mantlewhich is about 1, miles 2, km thick.
Sun Earth Relationship
The mantle is not completely stiff but can flow slowly. Earth's crust floats on the mantle much as a piece of wood floats on water. The slow motion of rock in the mantle shuffles continents around and causes earthquakes, volcanoes and the formation of mountain ranges.
Above the mantle, Earth has two kinds of crust. The dry land of the continents consists mostly of granite and other light silicate minerals, while the ocean floors are made up mostly of a dark, dense volcanic rock called basalt. Continental crust averages some 25 miles 40 km thick, although it can be thinner or thicker in some areas.
Oceanic crust is usually only about 5 miles 8 km thick. Water fills in low areas of the basalt crust to form the world's oceans.
Earth gets warmer toward its core. At the bottom of the continental crust, temperatures reach about 1, degrees Fahrenheit 1, degrees Celsiusincreasing about 3 degrees F per mile 1 degree C per km below the crust. Geologists think the temperature of Earth's outer core is about 6, to 7, degrees F 3, to 4, degrees C and that the inner core may reach 12, degrees F 7, degrees C — hotter than the surface of the sun.
Magnetic field Earth's magnetic field is generated by currents flowing in Earth's outer core. The magnetic poles are always on the move, with the magnetic North Pole accelerating its northward motion to 24 miles 40 km annually since tracking began in the s.
It will likely exit North America and reach Siberia in a matter of decades. Earth's magnetic field is changing in other ways, too. Globally, the magnetic field has weakened 10 percent since the 19th centuryaccording to NASA.
- Earth's Sun: Facts About the Sun's Age, Size and History
- Planet Earth: Facts About Its Orbit, Atmosphere & Size
These changes are mild compared to what Earth's magnetic field has done in the past. A few times every million years or so, the field completely flips, with the North and the South poles swapping places.
The magnetic field can take anywhere from to 3, years to complete the flip. The strength of Earth's magnetic field decreased by about 90 percent when a field reversal occurred in ancient past, according to Andrew Roberts, a professor at the Australian National University. The drop makes the planet more vulnerable to solar storms and radiation, which can could significantly damage satellites and communication and electrical infrastructure.
When charged particles from the sun get trapped in Earth's magnetic field, they smash into air molecules above the magnetic poles, causing them to glow. This phenomenon is known as the auroraethe northern and southern lights.
What is the relationship between the sun and the earth?
Nowhere else in the solar system is there an atmosphere loaded with free oxygen, which is vital to one of the other unique features of Earth: Solar is the adjective from Sun and comes from the Latin word for Sun — sol, which also gives us the French soleil. The Sun measures 2, miles 4.
The Sun is The Sun is bigger than can really be imagined, over one million times bigger than the Earth. This measurement is taken as one Astronomical Unit and is how we measure distances in our Solar System Like all stars, the Sun is composed of a great burning ball of gases.
Earth's Sun: Facts About the Sun's Age, Size and History
It is made of The burning heat of the Sun The Sun has six layers. Around the core is the radiative zone, which carries the energy out from the core. It takes about 8 minutes for the sunlight to be seen on the earth after it has left the Sun. These are too faint to be normally seen against the much brighter photosphere but they can be seen on a very dull day or during a solar eclipse Look at figures 2 and 3.
In very bright weather it is dangerous to look directly at the Sun without protective glasses.
Figure 2 The Sun's corona - the hazy bright area around the Sun, seen on an overcast day. As the moon orbits round the earth, it very occasionally comes between the Sun and the earth.
This shuts out most of the light of the Sun and is called a solar eclipse. Sometimes only part of the moon comes between us and the Sun: You may be able to see the chromosphere as a thin red line in Figure 3 with the corona outside it.