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Earth - planets



Earth
Earth - earth
Earth has one natural satellite, the moon.
The Earth is 150 million km from the sun (1 astronomical unit).
The Earth takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds to rotate. Its gradually slowing down over time. Back in the time of the dinosaurs, a day would've lasted about 23.5 hours. Several billion years ago, one day was about 4 or 5 hours long!
The Earth takes 365.25 days to orbit the sun.
The Earth hurtles through space at 29.79 km/s.
The diameter of the Earth is 12,756km.
The Earth's axis has an inclination of 23.4 degrees.
When the Earth was formed, it was hot and dry. Water came later by comets.
One theory is that life arrived here on Earth on the back of a comet.
Earth is what we call a "Goldilocks planet". It's not too hot, so water does not boil away, and not too cold, so it does not freeze. It is not too small, so it can contain an atmosphere, and not too big, so it is not "all atmosphere" like the planet Jupiter.
Oceans and seas cover 71% of the Earth's surface. And more than a tenth of Earth's surface is covered in ice. The ice caps grow in winter and shrink in summer.
The Earth's atmosphere is made up of 78.1% Nitrogen, 20.9% Oxygen and 1% of water vapour and trace gases.
For its size, Earth has the strongest magnetic field of any planet. The magnetism arises in its core, where swirling currents of molten iron generate electric and magnetic fields. The magnetism changes direction as time passes, causing the magnetic poles to wander. At present, the magnetic poles are about 2,000km from the North and South Poles.
Earth's magnetism extends far into space to form a huge "magnetic bubble" surrounding Earth. This magnetosphere protects Earth from the effects of the solar wind-electrified particles that sweep outwards from the Sun at high speeds. Some particles are trapped in two regions near Earth, called the Van Allen belts. Others stream down to the magnetic poles, lighting up the atmosphere as auroras.
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