Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Everybody’s favourite planet (apart from probably Mercury) - Earth!
Earth… perhaps the most unknown planet in our solar system. So what is there to know about this obscure planet?
What makes Earth special is that it is in something called the ‘Goldilocks zone’. This means that it is just the right distance from the sun to be neither too hot nor too cold, allowing it to support liquid water. This is essential for life, and is partially why Earth is the only planet we know of to date to support life.
The element most present in the Earth’s composition, by mass is in fact Iron, making up 34.6% of Earth, followed by Oxygen and then Silicon.
Earth is the only planet in our solar system not named after Greek or Roman mythology- instead Earth’s name has its roots in Old English and Germanic dialects.
Most of the mass of the earth is in the viscous liquid mantle, followed by the semi-fluid outer core and solid iron inner core. The crust only makes up a very small portion of the Earth as a whole.
Earth differs from other terrestrial planets in the solar system in the way its crust floats as plates on top of the mantle.
The Earth’s crust is mainly made up of quartz.
The Earth’s core can reach temperatures of 7500K in the centre, exceeding those on the surface of the sun.
The Earth is denser than any other major body in the solar system.
In fairly short periods of time (only about 500000000 years or so) the Earth’s surface will actually be completely destroyed and recreated, so no traces of the early earth are left on the surface today.
Without life on Earth Oxygen probably wouldn’t exist, due to its reactivity. As it is it makes up about 21% of the Earth’s atmosphere, Nitrogen being the most abundant gas at 77%
And, just for you Ieuan-
Socialists live on Earth.