Planet Earth is a 2006 British television series produced by the BBC Natural History Unit. Five years in the making,
1. Plate Tectonics Keep the Planet Comfortable:
Earth is the only planet in the Solar System with plate tectonics. Basically, the outer crust of the Earth is broken up into regions known as tectonic plates. These are floating on top of the magma interior of the Earth and can move against one another. When two plates collide, one plate will subduct (go underneath another), and where they pull apart, they will allow fresh crust to form.
2. Earth is Almost a Sphere:
Many people tend to think that the Earth is a sphere. In fact, between the 6th century BCE and the modern era, this remained the scientific consensus. But thanks to modern astronomy and space travel, scientists have since come to understand that the Earth is actually shaped like a flattened sphere (aka. an oblate spheroid).
This shape is similar to a sphere, but where the poles are flattened and the equator bulges. In the case of the Earth, this bulge is due to our planet’s rotation. This means that the measurement from pole to pole is about 43 km less than the diameter of Earth across the equator. Even though the tallest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest, the feature that’s furthest from the center of the Earth is actually Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador.
3. 70% of the Earth’s Surface is Covered in Water:
When astronauts first went into the space, they looked back at the Earth with human eyes for the first time. Based on their observations, the Earth acquired the nickname the “Blue Planet:. And it’s no surprise, seeing as how 70% of our planet is covered with oceans. The remaining 30% is the solid crust that is located above sea level, hence why it is called the “continental crust”.
4. The Earth’s Atmosphere Extends to a Distance of 10,000 km:
Earth’s atmosphere is thickest within the first 50 km from the surface or so, but it actually reaches out to about 10,000 km into space. It is made up of five main layers – the Troposphere, the Stratosphere, the Mesosphere, the Thermosphere, and the Exosphere. As a rule, air pressure and density decrease the higher one goes into the atmosphere and the farther one is from the surface.
The bulk of the Earth’s atmosphere is down near the Earth itself. In fact, 75% of the Earth’s atmosphere is contained within the first 11 km above the planet’s surface. However, the outermost layer (the Exosphere) is the largest, extending from the exobase – located at the top of the thermosphere at an altitude of about 700 km above sea level – to about 10,000 km (6,200 mi). The exosphere merges with the emptiness of outer space, where there is no atmosphere.
5. The Earth was once believed to be the centre of the universe.
For 2000 years ancient astronomers believed that the Earth was static and had other celestial bodies traveling in circular orbits around it. They believed this because of the apparent movement on the Sun and planets in relation to their viewpoint. In 1543, Copernicus published his Sun-centered model of the Solar System which put the Sun at the centre of our solar system.
6. Earth is the most dense planet in the solar system
The density of Earth differs in each part of the planet – the core, for example, is denser than the Earth’s crust – but the average density of the planet is around 5.52 grams per cubic centimeter.
7. The gravity between the Earth and the Moon causes the tides on Earth.
This effect on the Moon means it is tidally locked to Earth. Its rotation period is the same as its orbit time so it always presents the same face to Earth.
8. The rotation of the Earth is gradually slowing down.
The deceleration of the Earth’s rotation is very slow, approximately 17 milliseconds per hundred years. Eventually this will lengthen our days but it will take around 140 million years before our day will have increased from 24 to 25 hours.
9. The lowest point on Earth is called Challenger Deep
The lowest point on Earth is called Challenger Deep and at 10.9 km below sea level. It is further than the peak of Mount Everest.
10. The first photo of Earth from space has been taken on 1946
Long before the Soviet-made Sputnik truly began the space age in 1957, on October 24, 1946, the first photo of Earth from the space has been taken. The scientists launched a Nazi-built V-2 rocket (No. 13) from the White Sands Missile Range, a United States Army rocket range in southern New Mexico. There was a camera aboard the rocket, and when. The rocket reached 105 km the black and white photo was taken.
11. The Great Wall is NOT the only man-made object visible from the space
The Great Wall of China frequently billed as the only man-made object visible from space, but, in fact, it is a common misconception about Earth. Most times, it isn’t visible from the space. In fact, according to NASA, it is very difficult to see or photograph the Great Wall from even the low Earth orbit. It very rarely can be visible, and to an aided eye, under special conditions.