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Earth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets. It is sometimes referred to as the world or the Blue Planet.[22] Earth formed approximately 4.54 billion years ago, and life appeared on its surface within its first billion years.[23] Earth's biosphere then significantly altered the atmospheric and other basic physical conditions, which enabled the proliferation of organisms as well as the formation of the ozone layer, which together with Earth's magnetic field blocked harmful solar radiation, and permitted formerly ocean-confined life to move safely to land.[24] The physical properties of the Earth, as well as its geological history and orbit, have allowed life to persist. Estimates on how much longer the planet will be able to continue to support life range from 500 million years (myr), to as long as 2.3 billion years (byr).[25][26][27] Earth's lithosphere is divided into several rigid segments, or tectonic plates, that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. About 71% of the surface is covered by salt water oceans, with the remainder consisting of continents and islands which together have many lakes and other sources of water that contribute to the hydrosphere. Earth's poles are mostly covered with ice that is the solid ice of the Antarctic ice sheet and the sea ice that is the polar ice packs. The planet's interior remains active, with a solid iron inner core, a liquid outer core that generates the magnetic field, and a thick layer of relatively solid mantle.


"The Blue Marble" photograph of Earth, taken from Apollo 17 Designations Alternative names Tellus or Terra, [note 1] Gaia Orbital characteristics Epoch J2000.0[note 2] Aphelion Perihelion Semi-major axis Eccentricity 152,098,232 km 1.01671388 AU[note 3] 147,098,290 km 0.98329134 AU[note 3] 149,598,261 km 1.00000261 AU[1] 0.01671123[1]

Orbital period 365.256363004 days[2] 1.000017421 yr Average orbital speed 29.78 km/s[3] 107,200 km/h

Mean anomaly 357.51716°[3] Inclination 7.155° to Sun's equator 1.57869°[4] to invariable plane

Longitude of 348.73936°[3][note 4] ascending node Argument of perihelion Satellites 114.20783°[3][note 5] 1 natural (the Moon), 8,300+ artificial (as of



Earth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Earth gravitationally interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon. During one orbit around the Sun, the Earth rotates about its own axis 366.26 times, creating 365.26 solar days, or one sidereal year.[note 7] The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted 23.4° away from the perpendicular of its orbital plane, producing seasonal variations on the planet's surface with a period of one tropical year (365.24 solar days).[28] The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. It began orbiting the Earth about 4.53 billion years ago (bya). The Moon's gravitational interaction with Earth stimulates ocean tides, stabilizes the axial tilt, and gradually slows the planet's rotation. The planet is home to millions of species of life, including the mineral resources of the planet and the products of the biosphere contribute resources that are used to support a global human population.[30] These inhabitants are grouped into about 200 independent sovereign states, which interact through diplomacy, travel, trade, and military action. Human cultures have developed many views of the planet, including its personification as a planetary deity, its shape as flat, its position as the center of the universe, and in the modern Gaia Principle, as a single, self-regulating organism in its own right. humans.[29] Both

1 March 2001)[5] Physical characteristics Mean radius Equatorial radius Polar radius Flattening 6,371.0 km[6] 6,378.1 km[7][8] 6,356.8 km[9] 0.0033528[10] 40,007.86 km (meridional)[11][12] Surface area 510,072,000 km2[13][14][note 6] 148,940,000 km2 land (29.2 %) 361,132,000 km2 water (70.8 %) Volume Mass 1.08321 × 1012 km3[3] 5.97219 × 1024 kg[3] 3.0 × 10−6 Suns Mean density 5.515 g/cm3[3] 9.780327 m/s2[15]

Circumference 40,075.017 km (equatorial)[8]

1 Name and etymology 2 Chronology 2.1 Formation 2.2 Geological history 2.3 Evolution of life 2.4 Future 3 Composition and structure 3.1 Shape 3.2 Chemical composition 3.3 Internal structure 3.4 Heat 3.5 Tectonic plates 3.6 Surface 3.7 Hydrosphere 3.8 Atmosphere 3.8.1 Weather and climate 3.8.2 Upper atmosphere 3.9 Magnetic field 4 Orbit and rotation 4.1 Rotation 4.2 Orbit 4.3 Axial tilt and seasons 5 Moon 6 Asteroids and artificial satellites 7 Habitability 7.1 Biosphere 7.2 Natural resources and land use 7.3 Natural and environmental hazards 7.4 Human geography 8 Cultural and historical viewpoint 9 See also 10 Notes


surface gravity 0.99732 g Escape velocity 11.186 km/s[3] Sidereal Equatorial rotation velocity Axial tilt Albedo 23°26'21".4119[2] 0.367 (geometric)[3] 0.306 (Bond)[3] Surface temp. min mean max Kelvin 184 K[18] 288 K[19] 330 K[20] Celsius −89.2 °C 15 °C 56.7 °C Atmosphere Surface pressure Composition 78.08% nitrogen (N2)[3] (dry air) 20.95% oxygen (O2) 0.93% argon 0.039% carbon dioxide[21] About 1% water vapor (varies with climate) 101.325 kPa (MSL) 0.99726968 d[16] 1,674.4 km/h (465.1 m/s)[17] rotation period 23h 56m 4.100s


earthing in the electrical sense. it is inferred that the Earth must 3/26 . "What on earth are you doing?").[34] therefore. Earth's atmosphere) and lowercase when preceded by "the" (e. The term almost exclusively exists in lowercase when appearing in common phrases. referring to soil.Wikipedia.8/19/13 Earth .).g. German Erde.0006 bya.org/wiki/Earth The earliest material found in the Solar System is dated to 4. "Earth". the atmosphere of the earth). both as "Earth" or "the Earth". This is to distinguish it as a proper noun.e. and Danish jord. "earth".5672 ± 0. "It does not cost the earth. Another common convention is to spell the name with a capital when occurring absolutely (e. etc. mother of the god Thor).wikipedia.[32] In general English usage.[31] The Earth is personified as a goddess in Germanic paganism (appearing as Jörð in Norse mythology. either when used absolutely or prefixed with "the" (i. or "the earth"). and Swedish. Earth has cognates in all other Germanic languages.g. the ground.". "the Earth". itself from Old English eorthe (dating from before 725). Norwegian. Many deliberately spell the name of the planet with a capital. distinct from the senses of the term as a mass noun or verb (e. Oxford spelling recognizes the lowercase form as the most common. even without "the" preceding it (e.g. including Dutch aarde. the name earth can be capitalized or spelled in lowercase interchangeably.[33] Chronology Formation Main article: History of the Earth Artist's impression of the birth of the Solar System en. with the capitalized form as a variant of it. the free encyclopedia 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links Name and etymology The modern English noun earth developed from Middle English erthe (recorded in 1137).g. deriving from Proto-Germanic *erthō.

about 4. numerous asteroid impacts during the Late Heavy Bombardment caused significant changes to the greater surface environment of the Moon. The last continental glaciation ended 10.0006 bya. when multicellular life forms began to proliferate.1 bya.[38] it impacts with the Earth in a glancing blow. On time scales lasting hundreds of millions of years. life colonized the surface of Earth. began to break apart.[55] Since the 1960s. atmospheric "greenhouse gases" kept the oceans from freezing while the newly forming Sun was only at 70% luminosity. a process ultimately driven by the continuous loss of heat from the earth's interior. is not self-consistent.Wikipedia.8 and 4. when an asteroid impact triggered the extinction of the (non-avian) dinosaurs and other large reptiles. Aided by the absorption of harmful ultraviolet radiation by the ozone layer. during the Neoproterozoic. which then resembled shrews.org/wiki/Earth 4/26 .[54] True multicellular organisms formed as cells within colonies became increasingly specialized. but spared some small animals such as mammals. High-latitude regions have since undergone repeated cycles of glaciation and thaw.[57] The most recent such event was 66 mya. This hypothesis has been termed "Snowball Earth". Geological history Main article: Geological history of Earth Earth's atmosphere and oceans formed by volcanic activity and outgassing that included water vapor.[51] Evolution of life Main article: Evolutionary history of life Highly energetic chemistry is thought to have produced a self-replicating molecule around 4 bya and half a billion years later the last common ancestor of all life existed. more likely. the Earth's magnetic field was established. The incorporation of smaller cells within larger ones resulted in the development of complex cells called eukaryotes. Roughly 750 mya (million years ago).[35] The Moon formed shortly thereafter. which also broke apart 180 mya. to the Earth. then finally Pangaea. The working hypothesis is that it formed by accretion from material loosed from the Earth after a Mars-sized object dubbed Theia impacted with Earth. a rapid growth[45] early in Earth history[46] followed by a long-term steady continental area.[37] The model. mammalian life has diversified. which begins to spin and flatten into a circumstellar disk. The assembly of the primordial Earth proceeded for 10–20 myr. proto-planets.wikipedia. In theory a solar nebula partitions a volume out of a molecular cloud by gravitational collapse. and is of particular interest because it preceded the Cambrian explosion. and by inference. Between approximately 3. the resultant oxygen accumulated in the atmosphere and formed a layer of ozone (a form of molecular oxygen [O3 ]) in the upper atmosphere.[40] In this model.54 ± 0.04 bya[23] the primordial Earth had formed. In this scenario.[56] Following the Cambrian explosion. The origin of the world's oceans was condensation augmented by water and ice delivered by asteroids. however. about 535 mya. Over the past 66 myr. By 4.[34] therefore.53 bya.[50] The present pattern of ice ages began about 40 mya and then intensified during the Pleistocene about 3 mya. repeating every 40–100. there have been five major mass extinctions.[53] The development of photosynthesis allowed the Sun's energy to be harvested directly by life forms. which helped prevent the atmosphere from being stripped away by the solar wind.[41] By 3. The formation and evolution of the Solar System bodies occurred in tandem with the Sun. and comets. Rodinia. 600–540 mya.[47][48][49] Continents formed by plate tectonics. In nebular theory planetesimals commence forming as particulate accrues by cohesive clumping and then by gravity. The two models[43] that explain land mass propose either a steady growth to the present-day forms[44] or.5 bya. the mass of Theia is 10% of the Earth's mass.[36] The Moon's formation remains debated. the free encyclopedia The earliest material found in the Solar System is dated to 4. A nebula contains gas. and then the planets grow out of that in tandem with the star. one of the earliest known supercontinents. ice grains and dust (including primordial nuclides). it is inferred that the Earth must have been formed by accretion around this time.[42] A crust formed when the molten outer layer of the planet Earth cooled to form a solid as the accumulated water vapor began to act in the atmosphere.8/19/13 Earth .[39] and some of its mass merges with the Earth. The continents later recombined to form Pannotia. covered much of the planet in a sheet of ice.000 years. the supercontinents have formed and broken up three times.000 years ago. and en.5672 ± 0. it has been hypothesized that severe glacial action between 750 and 580 mya.

remaining life would have been destroyed by the Sun's increased luminosity (peaking at about 5.wikipedia. The Earth is expected to be effectively habitable for about another 500 myr from that point.[25] although this may be extended up to 2. so animal life will become extinct within several million more years.000.000 km) from the Sun. As a red giant.[62] After another billion years all surface water will have disappeared[26] and the mean global temperature will reach 70 °C[62] (158 °F).[63] The Sun.000. roughly 1 AU (150.1 byr and by 40% over the next 3. when the star reaches its maximum radius. Composition and structure en. As a result of the steady accumulation of helium at the Sun's core. reducing its concentration to levels lethally low for plants (10 ppm for C4 photosynthesis) in approximately 500-900 myr. Future Main article: Future of the Earth See also: Risks to civilization.3 byr if the nitrogen is removed from the atmosphere. Over 70% percent of Earth's surface is covered with water. though most. initially expected to escape envelopment by the expanded Sun's sparse outer atmosphere. The matter that once made up the Earth will be released into interstellar space. 27% of the water in the modern oceans will descend to the mantle in one billion years. viewed from orbit. and planet Earth Stratocumulus clouds over the Pacific. and then civilization.[61] The Earth's increasing surface temperature will accelerate the inorganic CO2 cycle. [52] The life cycle of the Sun The future of the planet is closely tied to that of the Sun. where it may one day become incorporated into a new generation of planets and other celestial bodies.8/19/13 Earth . causing it to enter the red giant Sun's atmosphere and be vaporized.[25] The lack of vegetation will result in the loss of oxygen in the atmosphere. due to reduced steam venting from mid-ocean ridges.[60] Climate models indicate that the rise in radiation reaching the Earth is likely to have dire consequences.Wikipedia. including the loss of the planet's oceans. the free encyclopedia several million years ago an African ape-like animal such as Orrorin tugenensis gained the ability to stand upright.5 byr. the Sun will lose roughly 30% of its mass. Models predict that the Sun will expand out to about 250 times its present radius. which contains about half of the planet's species. if not all.000 km). which allowed the evolution of the human race.[58] This enabled tool use and encouraged communication that provided the nutrition and stimulation needed for a larger brain. allowed humans to influence the Earth in a short time span as no other life form had. humans. as part of its evolution.[59] affecting both the nature and quantity of other life forms. therefore.7 AU (250. the Earth will move to an orbit 1.[27] Even if the Sun were eternal and stable.org/wiki/Earth 5/26 .[60][64] Earth's fate is less clear. will become a red giant in about 5 byr. The planet was. the star's total luminosity will slowly increase. so. without tidal effects. The luminosity of the Sun will grow by 10% over the next 1.[60] A 2008 simulation indicates that the Earth's orbit will decay due to tidal effects and drag.[64] After that.000 times its present level). as its outer layers are ejected into space as a planetary nebula. the Sun's core will collapse into a white dwarf. The development of agriculture.

[67] Chemical composition See also: Abundance of elements on Earth The mass of the Earth is approximately 5.2% 16.2% 0. which is less than the 0. with smaller amounts of nickel (5.8%).1%). iron oxides. France.672 analyses of all kinds of rocks.8% 3. from the reference spheroid. Venus. From a computation based on 1. magnesia.[77] The geochemist F. Earth and Mars in true-color. as the meter was originally defined as 1/10. the surface locations farthest from the center of the Earth are the summits of Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador and Huascarán in Peru. Clarke deduced that 99.[68] This bulge results from the rotation of the Earth. meaning that it is a rocky body.3% 99.4% 0. Earth also has the highest density.2% 6.000 km/π.[78] Chemical composition of the crust[76] Composition Compound Formula silica alumina lime magnesia iron(II) oxide sodium oxide potassium oxide iron(III) oxide water carbon dioxide titanium dioxide phosphorus pentoxide Total SiO2 Al2 O3 CaO MgO FeO Na2 O K2O Fe2 O3 H2O CO2 TiO2 P2 O 5 Continental Oceanic 60.000 of the distance from the equator to the North Pole through Paris.4% 1.98 × 1024 kg.3% 1.8/19/13 Earth . Shape Main article: Figure of the Earth The shape of the Earth approximates an oblate spheroid. forming silicates.5% 1. and aluminium (1. Of these four planets. sulfur and fluorine are the only important exceptions to this and their total amount in any rock is usually much less than 1%. sulfur (4. The more common rock constituents of the Earth's crust are nearly all oxides. which is approximately 40. The principal oxides are silica.4%).[72] The largest local deviations in the rocky surface of the Earth are Mount Everest (8.[73][74][75] Chimborazo.9%). It is composed mostly of iron (32. the core region is believed to be primarily composed of iron (88. oxygen (30.Wikipedia.[71] Local topography deviates from this idealized spheroid. The furthermost point on the Earth's surface from its center. The silica functions principally as an acid. with the remaining 1. and fastest rotation. although on a global scale.2% 2. Due to the equatorial bulge. and causes the diameter at the equator to be 43 km (kilometer) larger than the pole-to-pole diameter.5% 5.0% 2. Ecuador. the free encyclopedia Main article: Earth science Further information: Earth physical characteristics tables Earth is a terrestrial planet.[70] The average diameter of the reference spheroid is about 12.4% 2. nickel (1. lime.1%).911 m below local sea level). It is the largest of the four terrestrial planets in size and mass. chlorine.848 m above local sea level) and the Mariana Trench (10.1% 3.8%).5%). the strongest magnetic field. Due to mass segregation.5% 12.2% consisting of trace amounts of other elements. or 0.8% 6.org/wiki/Earth 6/26 . alumina.6% 15.1% 1.1%).3% 3. W. a sphere flattened along the axis from pole to pole such that there is a bulge around the equator.17%.742 km. magnesium (13. potash and soda.[69] For this reason the furthest point on the surface from the Earth's center of mass is the Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador. Clarke calculated that a little more than 47% of the Earth's crust consists of oxygen.wikipedia.6% 99.[66] Size comparison of inner planets (left to right): Mercury.8% 2. sulfur (2.9%).000. and all the commonest minerals of igneous rocks are of this nature. the highest surface gravity.6% 0. rather than a gas giant like Jupiter. silicon (15.[65] and is probably the only one with active plate tectonics.8%).9% en.7% 0.2% 48.22% tolerance allowed in billiard balls.22% were composed of 11 oxides (see the table at right). and less than 1% trace elements.4% 1. calcium (1. with the other constituents occurring in minute quantities.5%). these deviations are small: Earth has a tolerance of about one part in about 584.

wikipedia.Wikipedia. increasing the rates of mantle convection and plate tectonics.25 × 10−13 3.9–12.4–4.9 × 10−9 2.47 × 109 5. Beneath the mantle. a relatively lowviscosity layer on which the lithosphere rides. Not to scale.4–5. top of the upper mantle are collectively known as the lithosphere.5° per year. uranium-238. rigid. like that of the other terrestrial planets. it has a distinct outer and inner core.[87] Present-day major heat-producing isotopes[88] Heat release Half-life Mean mantle concentration Heat release W kg isotope Isotope 238 U 235 U 232 Th 40 K years kg isotope kg mantle W kg mantle 9.[80] Geologic layers of the Earth[81] Depth[82] km Density Component Layer Lithosphere[note 8] Crust[note 9] Upper mantle Mantle Asthenosphere Outer core Inner core g/cm3 0–60 0–35 35–60 35–2890 100–700 2890–5100 Earth cutaway from core to exosphere.9 3. spanning a transition zone that separates the upper and lower mantle.25 × 109 30. Earth's heat production would have been much higher. the free encyclopedia Internal structure Main article: Structure of the Earth The interior of the Earth.[83] would have increased temperature gradients within the Earth.08 × 10−12 The mean heat loss from the Earth is 87 mW m−2 .000 °C (10. The outer layer of the Earth is a chemically distinct silicate solid crust.40 × 1010 2.org/wiki/Earth 7/26 .91 × 10−12 1.[85] and the pressure could reach 360 GPa. — 2. and thorium-232.[84] At the center of the planet. and the thickness of the crust varies: averaging 6 km (kilometers) under the oceans and 30-50 km on the continents.46 × 10−5 4. uranium-235.[83] The major heat-producing isotopes in the Earth are potassium-40.69 × 10−4 7.8 × 10−9 0. twice present-day at approximately 3 byr.27 × 10−12 1. The crust and the cold.[89] A portion of the core's thermal energy is transported toward the crust by mantle plumes. for a global heat loss of 4. Important changes in crystal structure within the mantle occur at 410 and 660 km below the surface.[90] More of the heat in the Earth is lost through plate tectonics.2–2.92 × 10−5 1.4 3. These plumes can produce hotspots and flood basalts.04 × 108 2.[86] Because much of the heat is provided by radioactive decay.6 — 9. The crust is separated from the mantle by the Mohorovičić discontinuity. by en.42 × 1013 W. the temperature may be up to 6. scientists believe that early in Earth history. an extremely low viscosity liquid outer core lies above a solid inner core. which is underlain by a highly viscous solid mantle.8/19/13 Earth . Beneath the lithosphere is the asthenosphere.830 °F). is divided into layers by their chemical or physical (rheological) properties.2 12.1 5100–6378 Heat Earth's internal heat comes from a combination of residual heat from planetary accretion (about 20%) and heat produced through radioactive decay (80%).[79] The inner core may rotate at a slightly higher angular velocity than the remainder of the planet.22 × 10−9 124 × 10−9 36. a form of convection consisting of upwellings of higher-temperature rock. and it is of the lithosphere that the tectonic plates are comprised.1–0. but unlike the other terrestrial planets.64 × 10−5 1. This extra heat production.8–13. and allowing the production of igneous rocks such as komatiites that are not formed today. before isotopes with short half-lives had been depleted. advancing by 0.

at which two plates are pulled apart. and large meteorite impacts[101] also act to reshape the landscape. is broken into pieces called tectonic plates. submarine canyons. Indo-Australian Plate Antarctic. the free encyclopedia mantle upwelling associated with mid-ocean ridges. including a globe-spanning mid-ocean ridge system.9 The seven major plates are the Pacific. the slowest-moving plate is the Eurasian Plate.0 75. the solid but less-viscous part of the upper mantle that can flow and move along with the plates. About 70. deserts. The remaining 29. Earthquakes.030 myr. the Nazca Plate off the west coast of South South American Plate 43. Nearly 75% of the continental surfaces are covered by sedimentary rocks.org/wiki/Earth 8/26 . At the other extreme. the build-up of coral reefs. Due to this recycling. African. The final major mode of heat loss is through conduction through the lithosphere.[97] Earth's main plates[92] Plate name Pacific Plate African Plate[note 10] North American Plate Eurasian Plate Area 10 6 km2 103. The combination of these processes continually recycles the oceanic crust back into the mantle. the ocean floor is subducted under the leading edges of the plates at convergent boundaries. the upwelling of mantle material at divergent boundaries creates mid-ocean ridges. at which two plates come together. The surface features built up or deformed through plate tectonics are subject to steady weathering from precipitation.[99] Surface Main articles: Landform and Extreme points of Earth The Earth's terrain varies greatly from place to place.8 Antarctic Plate 60.[95][96] By comparison. a denser volcanic rock that is the primary constituent of the ocean floors. At the same time. plateaus. although they form only about 5% of the crust.8/19/13 Earth .[103] The third form of rock material found on Earth is metamorphic rock. The planetary surface undergoes reshaping over geological time periods due to tectonics and erosion.9 67.3 78. as well as undersea volcanoes. volcanic activity. North American. the majority of which occurs in the oceans because the crust there is much thinner than that of the continents. Glaciation.2 Arabian Plate. most of the ocean floor is less than 100 myr old in age. The continental crust consists of lower density material such as the igneous rocks granite and andesite.51 million sq mi) not covered by water consists of mountains.43 million sq mi). Indo-Australian. and has an estimated age of about 200 myr. As the tectonic plates migrate across the planet. and Transform boundaries. and South American. Less common is basalt. plains. Eurasian.[102] Sedimentary rock is formed from the accumulation of sediment that becomes compacted together.132 million km2 (139. oceanic plateaus and abyssal plains.[69] oceanic trenches.wikipedia.94 million km2 . the lithosphere.Wikipedia.[100] The submerged surface has mountainous features. and oceanic trench formation can occur along these plate boundaries. This equates to 361.[94] and their motion is strongly coupled with convection patterns inside the Earth's mantle. the Caribbean Plate. Other notable plates include the 47. thermal cycles.6 America and the Scotia Plate in the southern Atlantic Ocean. mountain-building. which en. coastal erosion. in which two plates slide past one another laterally. The fastest-moving plates are the oceanic plates. The oldest oceanic crust is located in the Western Pacific.[91] Tectonic plates Main article: Plate tectonics The mechanically rigid outer layer of the Earth. with much of the continental shelf below sea level. and chemical effects. The Australian Plate fused with the Indian Plate between 50 and 55 mya.2% (148. the oldest dated continental crust is 4. or 57. progressing at a typical rate of about 21 mm/year. Divergent boundaries. These plates are rigid segments that move in relation to one another at one of three types of plate boundaries: Convergent boundaries.[93] The tectonic plates ride on top of the asthenosphere. and other geomorphologies.8%[13] of the surface is covered by water. with the Cocos Plate advancing at a rate of 75 mm/year[98] and the Pacific Plate moving 52–69 mm/year.

[112] The oceans are also a reservoir of dissolved atmospheric gases.7%. including inland seas. pyroxene and olivine. Hydrosphere Main article: Hydrosphere The abundance of water on Earth's surface is a unique feature that distinguishes the "Blue Planet" from others in the Solar System. The deepest underwater location is Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean with a depth of −10. resulting in an estimated volume of 1.[note 12] About 97.[113] Sea water has an important influence on the world's climate. ranging between 8 km at the poles to 17 km at the equator. The mean height of land above sea level is 840 m. water would rise to an altitude of more than 2.682 m. with only 4. Besides being divided logically into Northern and Southern Hemispheres centered on the earths poles.[115] Atmosphere Main article: Atmosphere of Earth The atmospheric pressure on the surface of the Earth averages 101. such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. but technically includes all water surfaces in the world.618 × 108 km2 with a mean depth of 3. with trace amounts of water vapor.[107] Present-day Earth altimetry and bathymetry.5% is fresh water. The height of the troposphere varies with latitude. The Earth's hydrosphere consists chiefly of the oceans. igneous rocks.[109] If all the land on Earth were spread evenly.8/19/13 Earth . the earth has been divided arbitrarily into Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Most fresh water.[110] Elevation histogram of the surface of the Earth The average salinity of the Earth's oceans is about 35 grams of salt per kilogram of sea water (3.7 km.71% supporting permanent crops. while the remaining 2.5 km.[111] Most of this salt was released from volcanic activity or extracted from cool.000 m. The oceans cover an area of 3.[3] It is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen.noaa.gov/mgg/topo/). which are essential for the survival of many aquatic life forms. with some variation resulting from en. The most abundant silicate minerals on the Earth's surface include quartz.5% of the water is saline. It exists at the interface of the lithosphere.911. with the oceans acting as a large heat reservoir. atmosphere. or about 1/4400 of the total mass of the Earth.[105] The pedosphere is the outermost layer of the Earth that is composed of soil and subject to soil formation processes.[104] Common carbonate minerals include calcite (found in limestone) and dolomite.Wikipedia. mica.5% salt).325 kPa. high temperatures. and underground waters down to a depth of 2. carbon dioxide and other gaseous molecules. hydrosphere and biosphere. is currently ice. amphibole. Data from the National Geophysical Data Center's TerrainBase Digital Terrain Model (http://www. or both. the feldspars.3 × 107 km2 of cropland and 3.35 × 1018 metric tons. the free encyclopedia is created from the transformation of pre-existing rock types through high pressures. lakes.[106] The elevation of the land surface of the Earth varies from the low point of −418 m at the Dead Sea. about 68.[note 11][108] The mass of the oceans is approximately 1. Currently the total arable land is 13.ngdc. with a scale height of about 8.332 × 109 km3 . to a 2005-estimated maximum altitude of 8.31% of the land surface. or an estimated 1.[14] Close to 40% of the Earth's land surface is presently used for cropland and pasture.wikipedia.[114] Shifts in the oceanic temperature distribution can cause significant weather shifts.848 m at the top of Mount Everest.4 m.4 × 107 km2 of pastureland. rivers.org/wiki/Earth 9/26 .

The result is atmospheric circulation that drives the weather and climate through redistribution of thermal energy. temperate and polar climates. providing useful gases. and the surface below. which are further divided into more specific subtypes. carbon dioxide. slowly becoming thinner and fading into outer space. this water condenses and settles to the surface as precipitation. the mean annual air temperature at sea level decreases by about 0. This change enabled the proliferation of aerobic organisms as well as the formation of the ozone layer which blocks ultraviolet solar radiation. Energy from the Sun heats this layer. methane and ozone are the primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. permitting life on land. Precipitation patterns vary widely. Atmospheric circulation.org/wiki/Earth Above the troposphere. Three-quarters of the atmosphere's mass is contained within the first 11 km of the planet's surface.[122] This is a picture of Earth in ultraviolet light. with the climate regions characterized by fairly uniform air masses. Oxygenic photosynthesis evolved 2. and moderating temperature. When atmospheric conditions permit an uplift of warm.[123] The amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's decreases with increasing latitude. Other atmospheric functions important to life on Earth include transporting water vapor. subtropical. causing small meteors to burn up before they strike the surface. topological features and temperature differences determine the average precipitation that falls in each region.Wikipedia. thereby raising the average temperature. taken from the surface of the Moon.[119] Weather and climate Main articles: Weather and Climate The Earth's atmosphere has no definite boundary. the average surface would be −18 °C. particularly the thermohaline circulation that distributes thermal energy from the equatorial oceans to the polar regions.[121] Ocean currents are also important factors in determining climate. and life would likely not exist.8/19/13 Earth . This lowest layer is called the troposphere.[124] The Earth can be subdivided into specific latitudinal belts of approximately homogeneous climate. At higher latitudes the sunlight reaches the surface at lower angles and it must pass through thicker columns of the atmosphere. humid air. ranging from several meters of water per year to less than a millimeter. humid middle latitudes. in contrast to the current +15 °C.[121] Upper atmosphere See also: Outer space en. arid. 10/26 the atmosphere is usually divided into the stratosphere.[117] Earth's biosphere has significantly altered its atmosphere.[120] The primary atmospheric circulation bands consist of the trade winds in the equatorial region below 30° latitude and the westerlies in the mid-latitudes between 30° and 60°. This lowerdensity air then rises. higher-density air. these are the tropical (or equatorial). mesosphere. continental and cold polar).7 bya.[120] Most of the water is then transported to lower elevations by river systems and usually returned to the oceans or deposited into lakes.[118] This last phenomenon is known as the greenhouse effect: trace molecules within the atmosphere serve to capture thermal energy emitted from the ground. The commonly used Köppen climate classification system (as modified by Wladimir Köppen's student Rudolph Geiger) has five broad groups (humid tropics.[118] Each layer . but the night-side (left) shows bands of UV emission from the aurora caused by charged particles. causing expansion of the air.4 °C per degree of latitude away from the equator. This water cycle is a vital mechanism for supporting life on land.[125] Climate can also be classified based on the temperature and precipitation. Without this heat-retention effect. As a result. [116] Satellite cloud cover image of Earth using NASA's Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Water vapor generated through surface evaporation is transported by circulatory patterns in the atmosphere. and is replaced by cooler. the free encyclopedia weather and seasonal factors. forming the primarily nitrogen–oxygen atmosphere of today. and thermosphere. The day-side (right) reflects a lot of UV light from the Sun.wikipedia. Water vapor. and is a primary factor in the erosion of surface features over geological periods. Ranging from the equator to the polar regions.

400 seconds of mean solar time (86. The deformed by the Earth's atmosphere.91 × 1015 T m3 . torus-shaped regions of energetic charged particles. the magnetic field strength at the planet's surface is 3. with global magnetic dipole moment of 7. generating electric currents.org/wiki/Earth 11/26 . These in turn produce the Earth's magnetic field. The most recent reversal occurred approximately 700. This view from orbit shows the full Because unfixed hydrogen has a low molecular weight. This causes field reversals at irregular intervals averaging a few times every million years.8/19/13 Earth .[132] According to dynamo theory. which deflects particles in the solar wind. it forms the aurora. a component that partially shields the surface from ultraviolet light and thus is important for life on Earth.[118] Each layer has a different lapse rate. The sunward edge of the bow shock is located at about 13 times the radius of the Earth. most of the hydrogen loss comes from the destruction of methane in the upper atmosphere.[131] Magnetic field Main article: Earth's magnetic field The Earth's magnetic field is shaped roughly as a magnetic dipole. The collision between the magnetic field and the solar wind forms the Van Allen radiation belts. the atmosphere is usually divided into the stratosphere. At the equator of the magnetic field. mesosphere. leakage of hydrogen into space contributes to the pushing of the Earth from an initially NASA image reducing state to its current oxidizing one. the magnetic poles drift and periodically change alignment.[137][138] en. the field is generated within the molten outer core region where heat creates convection motions of conducting materials. and thermosphere.[133][134] Schematic of Earth's magnetosphere. The solar wind flows from left to right The field forms the magnetosphere. is a working definition for the boundary between atmosphere and space. The Kármán line. Photosynthesis provided a source of free oxygen.[135] Orbit and rotation Rotation Main article: Earth's rotation Earth's rotation period relative to the Sun—its mean solar day—is 86. the free encyclopedia Above the troposphere.[126] Within the stratosphere is the ozone layer. a pair of concentric. where the Earth's magnetic fields interact with the solar wind. This causes a slow but steady leakage of the atmosphere into space.[130] In the current.000 years ago.[129] Hence the ability of hydrogen to escape from the Earth's atmosphere may have influenced the nature of life that developed on the planet. When the plasma enters the Earth's atmosphere at the magnetic poles. the exosphere thins out into the magnetosphere.400. with the poles currently located proximate to the planet's geographic poles.[136] As the Earth's solar day is now slightly longer than it was during the 19th century due to tidal acceleration. Instead.wikipedia. it can achieve escape velocity [128] Moon partially obscured and more readily and it leaks into outer space at a greater rate than other gasses.[127] Thermal energy causes some of the molecules at the outer edge of the Earth's atmosphere to increase their velocity to the point where they can escape from the planet's gravity.05 × 10−5 T. but the loss of reducing agents such as hydrogen is believed to have been a necessary precondition for the widespread accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere. each day varies between 0 and 2 SI ms longer. defined as 100 km above the Earth's surface. oxygen-rich atmosphere most hydrogen is converted into water before it has an opportunity to escape. The convection movements in the core are chaotic.Wikipedia. defining the rate of change in temperature with height. Beyond these.0025 SI seconds).

098903691 seconds of mean solar time (UT1). For bodies near the celestial equator. misnamed its sidereal day.8/19/13 Earth . the Earth revolves in a counterclockwise direction about the Sun.164.000 km. When combined with the Earth–Moon system's common revolution around the Sun. on average it takes 24 hours—a solar day—for Earth to complete a full rotation about its axis so that the Sun returns to the meridian.09053083288s) as of 1982.8 km/s (107.09053083288 seconds of mean solar time (UT1) (23h 56m 4. In the southern hemisphere the situation is exactly reversed. this gives an apparent movement of the Sun eastward with respect to the stars at a rate of about 1°/day. the apparent sizes of the Sun and the Moon are approximately the same. is 29. and the distance to the Moon. It is currently about 20 light years above the galactic plane in the Orion spiral arm.Wikipedia.2564 mean solar days. During the summer. with the South Pole oriented opposite the direction of the North Pole. Without this tilt. the climate becomes generally cooler and the days shorter. Viewed from the celestial north pole.[141] Apart from meteors within the atmosphere and low-orbiting satellites.wikipedia. This causes seasonal change in climate.500. is situated in the Milky Way galaxy and orbits about 28. or they can become unbound by the gravitational perturbation of the Sun. the day lasts longer and the Sun climbs higher in the sky. from new moon to new moon.4 degrees from the perpendicular to the Earth–Sun plane (the ecliptic). the period of the synodic month. or gravitational sphere of influence.53 days. this is equivalent to an apparent diameter of the Sun or Moon every two minutes.5 Gm or 1. of the Earth is about 1.[139] The length of the mean solar day in SI seconds is available from the IERS for the periods 1623–2005[140] and 1962–2005. From Earth. the amount of sunlight reaching any given point on the surface varies over the course of the year. 384.[2] Thus the sidereal day is shorter than the stellar day by about 8. which is one apparent Sun or Moon diameter every 12 hours. the main apparent motion of celestial bodies in the Earth's sky is to the west at a rate of 15°/h = 15'/min.1 degrees against the Earth–Sun plane. Due to this motion. or 23h 56m 4. en. Viewed from a vantage point above the north poles of both the Sun and the Earth.5 hours. Earth. the Moon and their axial rotations are all counterclockwise. which is fast enough to travel a distance equal to the planet's diameter. Objects must orbit the Earth within this radius.[3][144] The Hill sphere. with summer in the northern hemisphere occurring when the North Pole is pointing toward the Sun.000 light years from the center of the galaxy. from the planet's surface.[145][note 14] This is the maximum distance at which the Earth's gravitational influence is stronger than the more distant Sun and planets. an extreme case is reached where there is no daylight at all for part of the year—a polar night.[142][143] Orbit Main article: Earth's orbit Earth orbits the Sun at an average distance of about 150 million kilometers the rotation axis and plane of orbit every 365. the motion of Earth.[2][note 13] Earth's rotation period relative to the precessing or moving mean vernal equinox.4 ms.32 days relative to the background stars. in seven minutes.000 km in radius. is 86. called its stellar day by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS). alternating between lunar eclipses and solar eclipses. In winter.098903691s. and the Earth–Moon plane is tilted up to ±5.[3] The Moon revolves with the Earth around a common barycenter every 27. and winter taking place when the pole is pointed away.742 km.000 km/h).164. about 12. or one sidereal year. the free encyclopedia Earth's rotation period relative to the fixed stars.org/wiki/Earth 12/26 .[146] Earth's axial tilt (or obliquity) and its relation to Axial tilt and seasons Main article: Axial tilt Due to the axial tilt of the Earth. in about 3. The orbital and axial planes are not precisely aligned: Earth's axis is tilted some 23. Above the Arctic Circle. there would be an eclipse every two weeks. is 86. along with the Solar System. The orbital speed of the Earth averages about 29.

From space. Spring Equinox is around March 20 and Autumnal Equinox is about September 23. the four seasons are determined by the solstices—the point in the orbit of maximum axial tilt toward or away from the Sun—and the equinoxes.wikipedia.8/19/13 Earth . en. Earth and Moon from Mars. the Earth can be seen to go through phases similar to the phases of the Moon.Wikipedia. Summer Solstice is near June 21. the free encyclopedia By astronomical convention. imaged by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In the northern hemisphere.[147] NASA's Cassini spacecraft photographs the Earth and Moon (visible bottom-right) from Saturn (July 19. In the Southern hemisphere. with the Summer and Winter Solstices exchanged and the Spring and Autumnal Equinox dates switched. 2013). the situation is reversed. Winter Solstice occurs on about December 21.org/wiki/Earth 13/26 . when the direction of the tilt and the direction to the Sun are perpendicular.

400 km Details of the Earth–Moon system. terrestrial. From the perspective of the Earth.349 × 1022 kg 27 d 7 h 43. The natural satellites orbiting other planets are called "moons" after Earth's Moon. Earth's perihelion occurs around January 3.[151] During the Devonian period. en.[148] The orientation (rather than the angle) of the Earth's axis also changes over time. the radius to the Earth–Moon barycenter is shown. Besides the radius of each object. Both of these motions are caused by the varying attraction of the Sun and Moon on the Earth's equatorial bulge. (approximately 410 mya) there were 400 days in a year. Over millions of years. and most of the excess energy is absorbed by the higher proportion of water in the southern hemisphere.[150] Moon Main article: Moon The Moon is a relatively large. Photos from NASA (http://visibleearth. precessing around in a complete circle over each 25. with a diameter about onequarter of the Earth's.gov/view_set. there is a 14-month cycle called the Chandler wobble.474. which collectively are termed quasiperiodic motion.9%[note 15] in solar energy reaching the Earth at perihelion relative to aphelion. for example. As the Moon orbits Earth. This effect is much less significant than the total energy change due to the axial tilt.gov/planetary/factsh eet/moonfact. The gravitational attraction between the Earth and Moon causes tides on Earth. planet-like satellite. These dates change over time due to precession and other orbital factors.7 m Semi-major axis 384.Wikipedia. Since the southern hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun at about the same time that the Earth reaches the closest approach to the Sun. This polar motion has multiple.[149] In modern times. the southern hemisphere receives slightly more energy from the Sun than does the northern over the course of a year.6 years. these tiny modifications—and the lengthening of Earth's day by about 23 µs a year—add up to significant changes. As a result.8/19/13 Earth . irregular motion with a main period of 18. the free encyclopedia The angle of the Earth's tilt is relatively stable over long periods of time. It is the largest moon in the Solar System relative to the size of its planet.800 year cycle.[152] Characteristics Diameter 3. the dark part of the face is separated from the light part by the solar terminator. The same effect on the Moon has led to its tidal locking: its rotation period is the same as the time it takes to orbit the Earth. the poles also migrate a few meters across the surface. The changing Earth–Sun distance causes an increase of about 6. Data from NASA (http://nssdc. Due to their tidal interaction.8 hours.8 km Mass Orbital period 7. the Moon recedes from Earth at the rate of approximately 38 mm a year. The Moon's axis is located by Cassini's third law.org/wiki/Earth 14/26 . leading to the lunar phases.php? categoryID=2363).html).nasa. this precession is the reason for the difference between a sidereal year and a tropical year. The tilt does undergo nutation. although Charon is larger relative to the dwarf planet Pluto.wikipedia. In addition to an annual component to this motion. a slight. The rotational velocity of the Earth also varies in a phenomenon known as length of day variation.nasa. different parts of its face are illuminated by the Sun.gsfc. with each day lasting 21. it always presents the same face to the planet. cyclical components. which follow cyclical patterns known as Milankovitch cycles. and the aphelion around July 4.

rate of rotation. The most widely accepted theory of the Moon's origin. the free encyclopedia The Moon may have dramatically affected the development of life by moderating the planet's climate. L4.8/19/13 Earth .org/wiki/Earth 15/26 . and the fact that its composition is nearly identical to that of the Earth's crust. A planet that can sustain life is termed habitable.[154] Viewed from Earth.[160] There are also inoperative satellites and over 300.[161] The distance of the Earth from the Sun. biomes are separated primarily by differences in latitude. species diversity reaches a peak in humid lowlands at equatorial latitudes.000 pieces of space debris. the rotational axis might be chaotically unstable.[155] A scale representation of the relative sizes of.[163] Natural resources and land use Main articles: Natural resource and Land use The Earth provides resources that are exploitable by humans for useful purposes.[158][159] As of 2011. sustaining atmosphere and protective magnetic field all contribute to the current climatic conditions at the surface. man-made satellites orbiting the Earth. Paleontological evidence and computer simulations show that Earth's axial tilt is stabilized by tidal interactions with the Moon. 2010 TK7 . Terrestrial biomes lying within the Arctic or Antarctic Circles. even if life did not originate there. en. The biosphere is divided into a number of biomes.[143] This allows total and annular solar eclipses to occur on Earth. This hypothesis explains (among other things) the Moon's relative lack of iron and volatile elements. including 3753 Cruithne and 2002 AA29 .[162] Biosphere Main article: Biosphere A planet's life forms are sometimes said to form a "biosphere". although the Sun's diameter is about 400 times as large as the Moon's. at high altitudes or in extremely arid areas are relatively barren of plant and animal life. Earth's largest artificial satellite is the International Space Station. states that it formed from the collision of a Marssize protoplanet called Theia with the early Earth.[156][157] A trojan asteroid companion. and average distance between. The Earth provides liquid water—an environment where complex organic molecules can assemble and interact. such as mineral fuels. The angular size (or solid angle) of these two bodies match because. inhabited by broadly similar plants and animals.Wikipedia. the Moon is just far enough away to have almost the same apparent-sized disk as the Sun. as well as its orbital eccentricity. height above sea level and humidity. axial tilt.[153] Some theorists believe that without this stabilization against the torques applied by the Sun and planets to the Earth's equatorial bulge. of Earth in Earth's orbit around the Sun. as appears to be the case for Mars. the giant impact theory.wikipedia. Habitability See also: Planetary habitability The International Space Station is an artificial satellite that orbits Earth. that are difficult to replenish on a short time scale. exhibiting chaotic changes over millions of years. The Earth's biosphere is generally believed to have begun evolving about 3. On land. there are 931 operational. Some of these are non-renewable resources.5 bya. geological history. and sufficient energy to sustain metabolism. Earth and Moon Asteroids and artificial satellites Earth has at least five co-orbital asteroids. it is also 400 times more distant. is librating around the leading Lagrange triangular point.

in Antarctica. petroleum.Wikipedia. and the Planted forests 126–215 recycling of many organic wastes. almost exactly at the South Pole. 2000[164] Land use Mha Cropland Pastures 1. the free encyclopedia Large deposits of fossil fuels are obtained from the Earth's crust. hurricanes. Estimated human land use. desertification). As of 2013. The land-based ecosystem depends upon topsoil Urban areas 66–351 and fresh water. rather than rural. In addition. except for some parts of Antarctica and the odd unclaimed area of Bir Tawil between Egypt and Sudan.871 The Earth's biosphere produces many useful biological products for humans.[177] en.[168] Many places are subject to earthquakes. tsunamis.410 Natural forests 3.501 Mha was cultivated as croplands. on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut.611 2. tornadoes.[174] high mountains (27%).[14] Humans also live on the land by using building materials to construct shelters. a scientific consensus exists linking human activities to global warming due to industrial carbon dioxide emissions. productive land 356–445 down from the land. species extinction. and a number of autonomous areas. Earth has reached approximately seven billion human inhabitants as of October 31. soil degradation.[166] In 1980. and the oceanic ecosystem depends upon dissolved nutrients washed Unused. more extreme temperature ranges. wood. there are 206 sovereign states.wikipedia. consisting of coal. According to the United Nations.[169] Human geography Main articles: Human geography and World Cartography. and other calamities and disasters.[172] Most of the growth is expected to take place in developing nations.800 deaths per year. areas. and vicariously geography. territories under dispute and other entities.020 sq mi).[171] Projections indicate that the world's human population will reach 9. 6. deforestation. (90°S) Independent sovereign nations claim the planet's entire land surface. and to a lesser extent navigation. Earth has never had a sovereign government with authority over the entire globe. there are 59 dependent territories. Surveying. 2011. Natural and environmental hazards Large areas of the Earth's surface are subject to extreme weather such as tropical cyclones. the study and practice of map making. providing and suitably quantifying the requisite information. although a number of nation-states have striven for world domination and failed. but a majority live in Asia.053 Mha of the Earth's land surface consisted of forest and woodlands.[175] or other less suitable terrain.510–1. and introduction of invasive species. landslides. soil depletion. have developed alongside cartography and geography. Many localized areas are subject to human-made pollution of the air and water. 60% of the world's population is expected to be living in urban. pharmaceuticals.250 square kilometres (958. the determination of position and direction.[165] These bodies form concentrated sources for many metals and other useful elements. volcanic eruptions. erosion. including (but far from limited to) food. Human population density varies widely around the world. and half of the land area is either desert (14%). acid rain and toxic substances. By 2020. resulting from actions of erosion and plate tectonics. have historically been the disciplines devoted to depicting the Earth. 5.143–3.788 Mha were grasslands and pasture.8/19/13 Earth . or typhoons that dominate life in those areas. These deposits are used by humans both for energy production and as feedstock for chemical production. This is predicted to produce changes such as the melting of glaciers and ice sheets.[167] The estimated amount of irrigated land in 1993 was 2. Canada. From 1980 to 2000. wildfires.[14] Historically. natural gas and methane clathrate. sinkholes.481. blizzards. oxygen. and 1. these events caused an average of 11.org/wiki/Earth 16/26 . loss of wildlife. floods. loss of vegetation (overgrazing. Mineral ore bodies have also been formed in Earth's crust through a process of Ore genesis.[176] (82°28′N) The southernmost is the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. significant changes in weather and a global rise in average sea levels. including the 193 United Nations member states.[173] It is estimated that only one-eighth of the surface of the Earth is suitable for humans to live on—three-quarters is covered by oceans.2 billion in 2050.500–3. droughts. the determination of locations and distances. The northernmost permanent settlement in the world is Alert.

[189] assert that their interpretations of these creation myths in sacred texts are literal truth and should be considered alongside or replace conventional scientific accounts of the formation of the Earth and the origin and development of life.N.[197] The first photograph ever taken by astronauts of an "Earthrise". the free encyclopedia The United Nations is a worldwide intergovernmental organization that was created with the goal of intervening in the disputes between nations.[185] The 7 continents of Earth:[170] North America.[178] The U. ignoring all periodic variations.gov/jsp/append5. and. 2. it provides a mechanism for armed intervention. Creation myths in many religions recall a story involving the creation of the Earth by a supernatural deity or deities. The quantities given are the values at the instant J2000. humankind did not begin to view the Earth as a moving object in orbit around the Sun until the 16th century. "Descriptor Terms (Feature Types)" (http://planetarynames. A variety of religious groups. en. The station's crew. from Apollo 8 See also Notes 1. South America. serves primarily as a forum for international diplomacy and international law.[196] but this was displaced by spherical Earth. 2010. The difference between the Earth's perihelion and aphelion is exactly 5 million kilometers (accurate to five significant figures).[190] Such assertions are opposed by the scientific community[191][192] and by other religious groups.org/wiki/Earth 17/26 . is usually replaced every six months.26064°. in particular a goddess. Blue. where a is the semi-major axis and e is the eccentricity.[187] Earth has often been personified as a deity. both secularly and periodically. ^ By International Astronomical Union convention. there were varying levels of belief in a flat Earth. achieved during the 1970 Apollo 13 mission.wr. Antarctica.[181][182][183] Normally the only humans in space are those on the International Space Station.0 of the secular variation.[179] The first human to orbit the Earth was Yuri Gagarin on April 12. the term terra is used only for naming extensive land masses on celestial bodies other than the Earth.8/19/13 Earth .jsp). a composite of DMSP/OLS ground illumination data on a simulated night-time image of the world Unlike the rest of the planets in the Solar System. Europe. thereby avoiding armed conflict.[180] In total.wikipedia.73936° by the fact that any angle is equal to itself plus 360°. USGS. 4. In the past. Africa. Jennifer (2007-07-05). which is equivalent to 348. Australia Cultural and historical viewpoint Main article: Earth in culture The standard astronomical symbol of the Earth consists of a cross circumscribed by a circle.Wikipedia. 3.171 km.[184] The furthest humans have travelled from Earth is 400. of these. ^ The reference lists the longitude of the ascending node as −11. When the consensus of the membership permits.[186] The Earth at night in 2000. perihelion = a × (1 – e). Retrieved 2007-07-05. a concept that has been credited to Pythagoras (6th century BC). twelve have walked on the Moon. currently six people. ^ a b aphelion = a × (1 + e). Asia. Cf. In many cultures a mother goddess is also portrayed as a fertility deity. ^ All astronomical quantities vary.usgs.[193][194][195] A prominent example is the creation–evolution controversy. often associated with fundamentalist branches of Protestantism[188] or Islam. Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. about 487 people have visited outer space and reached Earth orbit as of July 30. 1961.

International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service. "Orbital Ephemerides of the Sun. the average depth would be the ratio of the two.1016/j. Washington. which is the sum of the longitude of the ascending node and the argument of perihelion. "General Definitions and Numerical Standards" (http://www. B. Dennis D.). See table 8. D.mil/SecK/2011/Astronomical_Constants_2011.no/~sigurdhu/WGS84_Eng.landcover. Kaplan. Moon. ^ Various (2000). ^ The Earth's circumference is (almost) exactly 40.. ^ Locally varies between 5 and 200 km. 2010).org/reference/gephys/5_cazenave.. D. ^ Locally varies between 5 and 70 km.txt).agu.26064°) = 102.org) datasets. Calculation based upon 1 AU = 149. Arthur N. p.gov/planetary/factsheet/earthfact. 5. Retrieved 2011-03-13. extreme values for coverage of lakes and streams are 0. Available online (http://earth-info. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 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