Q:

Why is the Earth tilted?

A:

Astronomers theorize that over 4.5 billion years ago, Theia, an object about the size of Mars, collided with Earth to create a tilted axis. This is called "the giant impact theory." Prior to this event, the axis was straight at 180 degrees.

The theory holds that as Theia collided with the Earth, the mantle and elements flew into space, creating the materials for the moon. Scientists named Theia after the Greek god Titan.

The 23.5-degree tilt of the axis sustains life on Earth and produces seasons. Since the Earth rotates on an angle, no portion receives the brunt of the heat from the sun. Agriculture and many species rely upon the season changes from the tilted axis.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What if the Earth wasn't tilted?

    A:

    If the Earth had no axial tilt, there would be no seasons. The climate would remain the same for a given location on Earth year-round, and life as commonly known would likely not exist.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long is a day on Earth?

    A:

    According to Universe Today, the duration of a day on Earth is the time it takes for the planet to complete a rotation around its axis. The Earth’s rotation takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How was Earth formed?

    A:

    While no one knows for certain how the Earth formed, scientists theorize that it formed over 4 million years ago after the sun went through its initial formation, gravity began to draw heavy particles together into a planet and solar winds blew away lighter gases. These heavy particles became the core of the planet. As the mass continued to grow, heavier particles sank to the center, according to Space.com.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did the Earth begin?

    A:

    Scientists agree that the Earth formed about 4.6 billion years ago out of accreted matter from the solar nebula. All planets in the solar system formed the same way. Once the proto-Earth was formed, many changes occurred over vast timescales to produce the Earth of the 21st century.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore