But this shielding effect is far from constant, as the field strength varies significantly in both space and time.
October 10, NASA Earth, our home, is the third planet from the sun. It's the only planet known to have an atmosphere containing free oxygen, oceans of water on its surface and, of course, life.
Earth is the fifth largest of the planets in the solar system. It's smaller than the four gas giants — JupiterSaturnUranus and Neptune — but larger than the three other rocky planets, MercuryMars and Venus. Earth has a diameter of roughly 8, miles 13, kilometers and is round because gravity pulls matter into a ball.
But, it's not perfectly round. Earth is really an "oblate spheroid," because its spin causes it to be squashed at its poles and swollen at the equator. Water covers roughly 71 percent of Earth's surface, and most of that is in the oceans.
About a fifth of Earth's atmosphere consists of oxygen, produced by plants. While scientists have been studying our planet for centuries, much has been learned in recent decades by studying pictures of Earth from space.
Earth's orbit While Earth orbits the sun, the planet is simultaneously spinning on an imaginary line called an axis that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole.
It takes Earth Earth's axis of rotation is tilted in relation to the ecliptic plane, an imaginary surface through the planet's orbit around the sun.
This means the Northern and Southern hemispheres will sometimes point toward or away from the sun depending on the time of year, and this changes the amount of light the hemispheres receive, resulting in the seasons.
Earth's orbit is not a perfect circle, but rather an oval-shaped ellipse, similar to the orbits of all the other planets. Our planet is a bit closer to the sun in early January and farther away in July, although this variation has a much smaller effect than the heating and cooling caused by the tilt of Earth's axis.
Earth happens to lie within the so-called "Goldilocks zone" around the sun, where temperatures are just right to maintain liquid water on our planet's surface. Average distance from the sun: As the nebula collapsed because of its gravity, it spun faster and flattened into a disk.
Most of the material was pulled toward the center to form the sun. Other particles within the disk collided and stuck together to form ever-larger bodies, including Earth. Scientists think Earth started off as a waterless mass of rock. But in recent years, new analyses of minerals trapped within ancient microscopic crystals suggests that there was liquid water already present on Earth during its first million years, Marchi said.
Radioactive materials in the rock and increasing pressure deep within the Earth generated enough heat to melt the planet's interior, causing some chemicals to rise to the surface and form water, while others became the gases of the atmosphere. Recent evidence suggests that Earth's crust and oceans may have formed within about million years after the planet took shape.
Internal structure Earth's core is about 4, miles 7, km wide, slightly larger than half the Earth's diameter and about the same size as Mars ' diameter.
The outermost 1, miles 2, km of the core are liquid, while the inner core is solid; it's about four-fifths as big as Earth's moon, at some 1, miles 2, km in diameter. The core is responsible for the planet's magnetic fieldwhich helps to deflect harmful charged particles shot from the sun.
Above the core is Earth's mantlewhich is about 1, miles 2, km thick. The mantle is not completely stiff but can flow slowly. Earth's crust floats on the mantle much as a piece of wood floats on water. The slow motion of rock in the mantle shuffles continents around and causes earthquakes, volcanoes and the formation of mountain ranges.
Above the mantle, Earth has two kinds of crust.
The dry land of the continents consists mostly of granite and other light silicate minerals, while the ocean floors are made up mostly of a dark, dense volcanic rock called basalt. Continental crust averages some 25 miles 40 km thick, although it can be thinner or thicker in some areas.
Oceanic crust is usually only about 5 miles 8 km thick. Water fills in low areas of the basalt crust to form the world's oceans. Earth gets warmer toward its core. At the bottom of the continental crust, temperatures reach about 1, degrees Fahrenheit 1, degrees Celsiusincreasing about 3 degrees F per mile 1 degree C per km below the crust.
Geologists think the temperature of Earth's outer core is about 6, to 7, degrees F 3, to 4, degrees C and that the inner core may reach 12, degrees F 7, degrees C — hotter than the surface of the sun.Particles are in the majority of cases post-verbal clitics.
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Outer space explorers have taken countless nighttime photos of the earth’s urban centres over the years, and looking at this gorgeous shot of New York City, it’s easy to see why.
Asteroid - large rock in space, orbiting the sun. To add confusion, Meteoroid is often used for smaller rocks in space orbiting the sun. Meteor - large rock or small rock hitting our atmosphere. Tiny ones often burn up before hitting the ground. Small to large ones don’t burn up. Solar flares impact Earth only when they occur on the side of the sun facing Earth.
Coronal Mass Ejections (CME's): Large clouds of plasma and magnetic field that erupt from the sun. These kinks snap the magnetic field and can potentially drive vast amounts of plasma into space. The plasma itself is a cloud of protons and electrons carried aloft by the solar wind.