As we know, Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only object in the Universe known to harbor life. The Universe is big and our planet is old but in this entire vast, enormous, infinite sized Universe, only our planet our earth has “life.”
This is a special planet and a special place in the infinite vastness of the Cosmos.
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According to radiometric dating, Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Earth’s axis of rotation is little tilted and so it produces seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall). An earth year is roughly 365 days.
The Blue Planet, Our Earth, Our Home
Earth’s location in Universe
The following outline is the location of the earth in the observable Universe. It’s the same address for all 7 plus billion of us. (From the human point of view)
Universe > Virgo Super Cluster > Milky Way Galaxy > Solar System > Earth
What Does This Mean?
A little more detail of our address and getting more granular.
- Universe – all of time and space that there is. This may very well be infinite and everlasting.
- Observable Universe – the portion of the Universe that is observable from Earth at the present time.
- Virgo Super Cluster – one of the approximately 10 million Super Clusters in the observable Universe. It spans 110 million light-years and contains at least 100 galaxy groups and clusters.
- Local Group – our local galaxy group that includes the Milky Way and at least 53 other galaxies.
- Milky Way Galaxy – a specific barred spiral galaxy, our home Galaxy.
- Solar System – the Sun and the objects that orbit it. Earth is the 3rd planet closest to the Sun.
- Earth – a small-size planet of a mid-sized star to harbor life
- Asia (50 countries)
- Africa (54 countries)
- North America (4 countries + 23 Central American countries)
- South America (13 countries)
- Antarctica (0 countries)
- Europe (46 countries)
- Australia (14 countries)
Independent sovereign nations claim the planet’s entire land surface, except for some parts of Antarctica, a few land parcels along the Danube river’s western bank, and the unclaimed area of Bir Tawil between Egypt and Sudan.
There are 193 sovereign countries that are member states of the United Nations, plus two observer states and 72 dependent territories and states with limited recognition or disputed territories, such as Western Sahara.
Earth has never had a single government with authority over the entire globe, although some nations or warlords have striven for world domination and luckily failed.
To view the complete list of countries, please refer: List of Countries by Continents (Also, listed in alphabetical order).
About 71% of Earth’s surface is covered with water, mostly by oceans. The remaining 29% is landmass consisting of both continents and islands.
Life & Biodiversity
Within the first billion years of Earth’s history, life appeared in the oceans and began to affect the Earth’s atmosphere and surface, leading to the proliferation of aerobic and anaerobic organisms.
A biodiversity hotspot is an extraordinary place that harbors a vast number of plant and animal species found nowhere else.
Conservative Internation defines 35 biodiversity hotspots on Earth. All of the above 35 biodiversity hotspots (above map) are heavily threated by habitat loss and degradation, making their conservation crucial to protecting nature for the benefit of all life on Earth.
Earth’s human population reached approximately seven billion on 31 October 2011. Over 7.6 billion humans live on Earth and depend on its biosphere and natural resources for their survival.
Humans have developed diverse societies and cultures. Politically, the world has about 193 sovereign states.
Projections indicate that the world’s human population will reach over 9 billion humans in 2050. Most of the growth is expected to take place in developing nations of Asia and Africa.
It is estimated that one-eighth of Earth’s surface is suitable for humans to live on – three-quarters of Earth’s surface is covered by oceans, leaving one-quarter as land. Half of that land area is desert (14%), high mountains (27%), or other unsuitable terrains.
The northernmost permanent settlement in the world is Alert, on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada. The southernmost is the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, in Antarctica, almost exactly at the South Pole. (90°S)
Interesting Read: Ley Lines – A Mysterious Line that Connects the Entire Earth
Features of Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, the densest planet in the Solar System, the largest of the Solar System’s four terrestrial planets, and the only astronomical object known to harbor life.
- Earth’s Age: 4.5 billion years
- Earth’s Size: 7,918 mi across (diameter)
- Natural Satellites (or Moons): Only one, called “Moon”
- World map (click the link)
Photo Gallery: 10 Iconic Photos of the Last Ice Age
Astronomical Events on Earth
Some of the major astronomical events that recurrently occur on Earth are:
- Meteor showers
- Meteorite falls
- Eclipse – this includes both a lunar eclipse and solar eclipse.
- Equinox – this includes both the March equinox and the September equinox.
- Solstice – this includes the Summer solstice, June solstice, Winter solstice, and December solstice
The first human to orbit Earth was Yuri Gagarin on 12 April 1961. In total, about 487 people have visited outer space and reached orbit as of 30 July 2010, and, of these, twelve have walked on the Moon.
Normally, the only humans in space are those on the International Space Station. The station’s crew, made up of six people, is usually replaced every six months.
The farthest that humans have traveled from Earth is 400,171 km, achieved during the Apollo 13 mission in 1970.
April 14, 2018 3:31 pm
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