Q:

What are the physical characteristics of the earth?

A:

Quick Answer

The Earth is the only planet known to support life. Although larger than the other inner planets, Earth is much smaller than the gas giants found in the outer solar system. Earth is a terrestrial planet with liquid water covering roughly 70 percent of its solid surface.

Know More

Full Answer

The third planet from the Sun, the Earth has an atmosphere that contains both free oxygen and liquid water, two key elements needed to support life. The Earth rotates on an axis, an imaginary line running through the planet. The axis of the Earth is tilted to a degree that varies the amount of light and heat energy each hemisphere receives. These seasonal changes take place due to the shift in position experienced by the southern and northern hemispheres at different points in the Earth's orbit.

Earth's surface is known as the crust. The crust is composed mostly of alumino-silicates and makes up just 1 percent of the planet's total volume. While most of the planet's surface is covered in water, the crust also has several tectonic plates that float above the molten asthenosphere. These plates are able to float on the planet's crust because they have a lower density than material found within the planet's mantel.

Learn more about Earth Science

Related Questions

  • 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:
  • 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:

    What is the volume of the Earth?

    A:

    The volume of the Earth is 1.44 x 10^21 cubic yards or 2.63 x 10^10 cubic miles. This is found by taking the diameter of the Earth, which is roughly 7,962 miles at the equator, and applying the formula, V = 4/3 pi r^3.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore