Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Interesting science facts - Earth

Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the only planet with life in our solar system.

Earth is more than 4,5 billions years old, and is likely to support life for another 1.5 billion years, after which the rising luminosity of the Sun is likely to eliminate the biosphere.

Earth's only natural satellite is Moon. Moon plays important role in providing ocean tides, it also stabilizes the axial tilt and is gradually slowing the planet's rotation.

Humans first left planet Earth in 1961, and it was the work of Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin.

The Earth is expected to be effectively habitable for about another 500 million years.

About 71% of Earth's surface is covered with water.

Earth orbits the Sun at an average distance of about 150 million kilometers, and about bout 28,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

The name "Earth" was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word erda, which means ground or soil. Latin word for Earth is terra.

Planet Earth is about the same size as planet Venus.

Earth’s atmosphere includes the right amount of gases that are capable to trap heat from the Sun, resulting in a moderate climate suitable for water to exist in liquid form which enables life on Earth.

Earth is one of the most geologically active planets in the solar system which means that Earth is constantly changing (ocean formation and re-formation, continents movement etc.).

Earth orbits around the Sun because of gravitational force.

Earth is the fifth largest planet in our solar system.

Earth's atmosphere consists almost completely of nitrogen (78 percent) and oxygen (21 percent).

Earth’s surface includes the hydrosphere, the crust, and the biosphere.

Highest point on Earth is Mount Everest, which is 8,850 m (29,035 ft) above sea level.

The deepest point on Earth is the Mariana Trench, which is estimated to be 11,033 m (36,198 ft) below sea level.

Earth’s interior consists of the mantle and the core. Mantle and core represent by far the largest part of Earth’s mass.

Planetesimal theory is the theory most accepted in explaining the origin of Earth. According to this theory Eath originated from a giant cloud of gas and dust known as the solar nebula.

Some scientists predict that the continent of Asia will break apart millions of years from now, and once this happens, Lake Baikal in Siberia will become a vast ocean. Some geologists believe that in 200 million years the Red Sea will be the same size as the Atlantic Ocean.