Facts about Earth
Magical, Marvellous Earth
Earth is so unique and different that it is nothing like any of the other planets in our solar system. But why?
It is the only planet that has an atmosphere made up of about 21% oxygen.
It is the only planet that has liquid water on its surface.
It is the only planet in the solar system that has life.
Even though we have this mighty Earth that we live on, it is actually quite a fragile planet. Its surface is split into plates, called tectonic plates. They float on the mantle of the Earth, which is the layer between the Earth’s crust and its core. Inside this planet there’s a whole heap of activity going on; there are active volcanoes, earthquakes and also mountains are being built on the edges of the tectonic plates. Wow, it is one big hive of activity!
- Because of all the volcanoes and earthquakes, the surface of the Earth has far fewer craters than the surface of planets such as Mars, Venus and Mercury or even the surface of the Moon. The craters have sunk down or been worn away by wind and rain over millions of years.
- If you had to look at Earth from outer space, you won’t see all that much because of clouds and plenty of water vapour. That water vapour makes the Earth look like a stunning, shiny ball.
- The Earth is the third planet from the Sun and lies between Venus and Mars.
Have you ever heard of a Leap Year? Have you ever wondered why it happens? Well, the Earth actually takes 365¼ days to complete its orbit around the Sun. Our year is therefore 365 days long. But all those ¼ days are added up and every fourth year has one extra day, on the 29th of February. That’s what a Leap Year is, and we get 366 days in that year, pretty neat! It happens every fourth year and the year it happens in can be divided exactly by 4!
As the Earth makes its merry way around the Sun it turns on its axis, which means that it turns right around in 24 hours. The side of the Earth that faces the Sun has day time and the side of the Earth that is turned away from the Sun has night time. When it’s daytime in Britain, its night time on the opposite side of the Earth in New Zealand.
Interesting Facts about Earth
- Now this will blow your mind. The Earth is 150 million kilometres from the Sun. Imagine trying to travel that by car, or even walk it? Well if you walked, at least you’d be fit!
- Right at the middle of Earth, where the Equator is, it is 12,760km wide.
- If you think the Earth is completely round, it’s actually not. It looks more like an orange that is like the shape of a ball but at each end it is smaller than the middle.
- Did you know that Earth is often called the ‘Ocean Planet’? Well the reason for this is because of the fact that the surface is made up of about 70% of water.
- Wow, our atmosphere is pretty cool; it protects us from meteors as they normally blow up before they reach us here on the surface.
- The Earth’s average temperature is 14°C. The highest temperature recorded was nearly 58°C and the lowest temperature recorded was -89°C. Brrrrr!
Scientists think that the Earth is about 4.65 billion years old. That is seriously old! But, life on our planet has only existed for about 150 million to 200 million years. So life has only been around for about 5% to 10% of the time since Earth has been around! Whoa.
- Earth is the only planet not named after a god.
- This is really interesting. Earth is the only planet to have water in the three states of matter, such as solids, like ice, liquids, like the sea or rain and gases, just like the clouds. We’ve sure got a lot here!
- Earth has decided she needs a rest and is slowing down. Every few years and extra second is added to make up for the lost time. Millions of years ago, a day on Earth would have been 20 hours long, and it is thought that in millions of years, a day on Earth will be 27 hours long. If you were around for that there would be a cool extra 3 hours of play!
You can see why Earth is such a special place and we need to look after it! There it is…everything you need to know. Amaze your friends with some of the facts you’ve learned.