The Earth has been captivating scientists and the general population for thousands of years. From studying its rotation around the sun to diving into the depths of the ocean, people have been exploring, researching, and hypothesising since the beginning of time. We’ve come to a critical point in history. Nasa has reported that industrial activities and human-produced greenhouses have caused the Earth’s temperature to rise. Earth Day was created to combat the issues that often surround the discussion of global warming and every year people across the world come together to plant trees, clean up waterways, and research sustainable and renewable energy resources. Every year, we celebrate the Earth and its beauty by giving back on Earth Day.
To help celebrate Earth Day this year, here are 12 mind-blowing facts about our planet you may not know:
- The Earth is actually the densest planet in our solar system. While the density of our planet varies depending on which part of the planet you are measuring, the average density of Earth is around 5.52 grams per cubic centimeter. To put that in perspective, Jupiter’s density is 1.3 grams per cubic centimeter, Saturn’s density is 0.7 grams per cubic centimeter, and Mars’s density is 3.9 grams per cubic centimeter.
- The Earth is slowing down. While we can’t actually feel the speed of our planet slowing down, because it’s so minimal, it’s still happening. The rotation slows at about 17 milliseconds every 100 years, so it’ll take approximately 140 million years for our days to increase to 25 hours.
- Our days aren’t actually 24 hours long. Right now, the Earth only takes 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds to complete a full rotation on its axis.
- It takes less than an hour to travel through the planet. If someone were to drill a tunnel straight through the Earth and then jump in, it would only take about 42 minutes to reach the other side.
- The Earth is covered with water. How much? Approximately 70% of the surface of our planet is covered by water. The rest of the surface is made up of continents and islands.
- The longest mountain range on Earth hidden below the oceans. It’s called the Mid Ocean Ridge System and it is completely underwater. Stretching 80,000 kilometers around the world, the mountain range is about 20 times longer than the Andes Mountains, the longest surface mountain range.
- If the Amazon Rainforest were a country, it’d be the ninth largest. It covers approximately 2.1 million square miles and produces 20% of the Earth’s oxygen.
- The deepest known spot on Earth is the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. At its lowest depth, the trench reaches 36,070 feet. To put that in perspective, almost 25 Empire State Buildings stacked from end to end would fit in the trench.
- The gravitational pull between the Moon and the Earth causes the tides. The gravity between the two actually creates a sort of lock, causing the Moon’s rotation to be the same as Earth’s, which means the same side of the Moon always faces Earth.
- The Sun is approximately 93,000,000 miles away from the Earth. It takes light 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the Sun to Earth and it would take a car traveling 60 miles an hour approximately 64,583 days to reach the Sun from Earth.
- No other planet has water in all three states of matter. You can find water in it’s liquid, solid, and gas state on Earth.
- From far away, Earth appears to be the brightest planet in our solar system because the water on Earth reflects the Sun’s light.
Our planet really is a marvel. From the tallest peak to the lowest ocean trench, there’s always something new to discover. One of the best ways to explore and learn about our planet is to design and launch your own high altitude weather balloon experiment. As the balloon soars higher and higher, you’ll get an all new perspective on Earth and our solar system. Are you ready to launch your experiment? Contact StratoStar to learn more about high altitude science experiments!