A leading hypothesis is that it was formed by accretion from material loosed from Earth after a Mars-sized object with about 10% of Earth's mass, named Theia, collided with Earth. , Earth's mechanically rigid outer layer, the lithosphere, is divided into tectonic plates. One complete orbit of the Sun is known as a year and it takes Earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds to complete an orbit. Within the first billion years of Earth's history, life appeared in the oceans and began to affect Earth's atmosphere and surface, leading to the proliferation of anaerobic and, later, aerobic organisms. Earth orbits around the Sun in about 365.25 days. , The average salinity of Earth's oceans is about 35 grams of salt per kilogram of sea water (3.5% salt). Jupiter: The planet Jupiter travels around the sun one time every 4,332.82 earth days. Some geological evidence indicates that life may have arisen as early as 4.1 billion years ago. 4. , Because carbon dioxide (CO2) has a long life time in the atmosphere, moderate human CO2 emissions may postpone the next glacial inception by 100,000 years. In addition to an annual component to this motion, there is a 14-month cycle called the Chandler wobble. Over the course of a year as the earth orbits the sun, the earth's axis and equator change their orientation relative to the sun, cycling back roughly to the starting point once every "Tropical Year". Atmospheric circulation, topographic features, and temperature differences determine the average precipitation that falls in each region. The final major mode of heat loss is through conduction through the lithosphere, the majority of which occurs under the oceans because the crust there is much thinner than that of the continents.  True multicellular organisms formed as cells within colonies became increasingly specialized.  The Greek poetic name Gaea (Gæa) /ˈdʒiːə/ is rare, though the alternative spelling Gaia has become common due to the Gaia hypothesis, in which case its pronunciation is /ˈɡaɪə/ rather than the more Classical /ˈɡeɪə/. That longer year means longer seasons too. For any planet, a year is the time it takes to make one orbit around the sun. Earth's outer layer is divided into several rigid tectonic plates that migrate across the surface over many millions of years. The sidereal year (one revolution of Earths orbit about the sun) is 365.256 363 051 days (365 d 6 h 9 min 9.7676 s) Another convention capitalizes "Earth" when appearing as a name (e.g.  Humans use building materials to construct shelters. As a result, the mean annual air temperature at sea level decreases by about 0.4 °C (0.7 °F) per degree of latitude from the equator. The crust is separated from the mantle by the Mohorovičić discontinuity. On top of that a "year" can be measured many different ways. We'd know they were at least very, very close, but we could not know that they were the same or exactly how close they were if they were ever so slightly different by less than our ability to measure. These plumes can produce hotspots and flood basalts.  The bodies in the Solar System formed and evolved with the Sun. Politics World Business Tech Health TIME Health Entertainment Science Newsfeed Living Sports History The TIME Vault Magazine Ideas TIME Labs.  Lord Kelvin used thermodynamics to estimate the age of Earth to be between 20 million and 400 million years in 1864, sparking a vigorous debate on the subject; it was only when radioactivity and radioactive dating were discovered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that a reliable mechanism for determining Earth's age was established, proving the planet to be billions of years old.. Viewed from the celestial north pole, the motion of Earth, the Moon, and their axial rotations are all counterclockwise. ", "What's so special about our Moon, anyway? Solar System → Local Interstellar Cloud → Local Bubble → Gould Belt → Orion Arm → Milky Way → Milky Way subgroup → Local Group → Local Sheet → Virgo Supercluster → Laniakea Supercluster → Observable universe → UniverseEach arrow (→) may be read as "within" or "part of". , Earth has resources that have been exploited by humans. The presence of grains of the mineral zircon of Hadean age in Eoarchean sedimentary rocks suggests that at least some felsic crust existed as early as 4.4 Ga, only 140 Ma after Earth's formation. Using those measurements, the equatorial circumference of Earth is about 24,901 miles (40,075 km). From the Latin Terra comes Terran /ˈtɛrən/, Terrestrial /təˈrɛstriəl/, and (via French) Terrene /təˈriːn/, and from the Latin Tellus comes Tellurian /tɛˈlʊəriən/ and Telluric. , Earth orbits the Sun at an average distance of about 150 million km (93 million mi) every 365.2564 mean solar days, or one sidereal year. The most abundant silicate minerals on Earth's surface include quartz, feldspars, amphibole, mica, pyroxene and olivine. 2 billion years ago, it took 800 days to make one year and each night and day was 11 hours. The fastest-moving plates are the oceanic plates, with the Cocos Plate advancing at a rate of 75 mm/a (3.0 in/year) and the Pacific Plate moving 52–69 mm/a (2.0–2.7 in/year). (.DAT file (displays as plaintext in browser)), International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, "Geoid, Topography and Distribution of Landforms", "General Definitions and Numerical Standards", "Surface area of our planet covered by oceans and continents.  The ring current is defined by medium-energy particles that drift relative to the geomagnetic field, but with paths that are still dominated by the magnetic field, and the Van Allen radiation belts are formed by high-energy particles whose motion is essentially random, but contained in the magnetosphere. By Early Modern English, many nouns were capitalized, and the earth was also written the Earth, particularly when referenced along with other heavenly bodies. During the summer, the day lasts longer, and the Sun climbs higher in the sky. Third planet from the Sun in the Solar System, This article is about the planet.  Creation myths in many religions involve the creation of Earth by a supernatural deity or deities. , During the Neoproterozoic, 1000 to 541 Ma, much of Earth might have been covered in ice. Earth's axis of rotation is tilted with respect to its orbital plane, producing seasons on Earth.  As the Moon orbits Earth, different parts of its face are illuminated by the Sun, leading to the lunar phases. Due to mass segregation, the core region is estimated to be primarily composed of iron (88.8%), with smaller amounts of nickel (5.8%), sulphur (4.5%), and less than 1% trace elements. ", "Distribution of landmasses of the Paleo-Earth", "MAP OF THE DAY: Pretty Much Everyone Lives In The Northern Hemisphere", "Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification", "Space: how far have we gone – and where are we going? The major heat-producing isotopes within Earth are potassium-40, uranium-238, and thorium-232.  These deposits are used by humans both for energy production and as feedstock for chemical production. This is different from the amount of time it takes for the Earth to turn once on its axis – the 23 hours, 56 minutes. Due to the inverse square law, the radiation at perihelion is about 106.9% the energy at aphelion. , The continental crust consists of lower density material such as the igneous rocks granite and andesite. The oldest oceanic crust is located in the Western Pacific and is estimated to be 200 Ma old. This "Tropical Year" is what our calendar attempts to approximate by interjecting an extra day on leap years so that winter and summer occur at roughly the same time of year, year after year. The two models and the data that support them can be reconciled by large-scale recycling of the continental crust, particularly during the early stages of Earth's history. Less common is basalt, a denser volcanic rock that is the primary constituent of the ocean floors.  There are also inoperative satellites, including Vanguard 1, the oldest satellite currently in orbit, and over 16,000 pieces of tracked space debris. The remaining 71% is covered with water, mostly by oceans but also lakes, rivers and other fresh water, which together constitute the hydrosphere. Even if two measured years were exactly the same, we'd never know it for sure. Due to this recycling, most of the ocean floor is less than 100 Ma old. , Human cultures have developed many views of the planet. It took approximately 8700 hours for the earth to orbit the sun. At higher latitudes, the sunlight reaches the surface at lower angles, and it must pass through thicker columns of the atmosphere. There is a small flattening at the poles and bulging around the equator due to Earth's rotation.  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