Earth, our home, is the third planet from the sun. It is the only planet known to have an atmosphere containing free oxygen, oceans of liquid water on its surface, and, of course, life. Earth is the fifth largest of the planets in the solar system — smaller than the four gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, but larger than the three other rocky planets, Mercury, Mars and Venus.
The Big Blue Marble
The only planet known to support life, Earth is a complex system of air, water, and land. Its blue expanse of ocean, its thin yet dynamic veil of atmosphere and its brown and green jigsaw of continents all give it a vitality unknown anywhere else in the universe. (science.nationalgeographic.com)
Distance From Sun: 92,955,820 miles (149,597,891 kilometers)
Length of Year: 365 days, 6 hours, 16 minutes
Length of Day: 23 hours, 56 minutes
Min/Max Temp: -126°F (-87.8°C) to 136° (57.8°C)
Moon (Natural Satellite of Earth)
Earth’s moon is 2,159 miles (3,474 kilometers) wide, about one-fourth of Earth’s diameter. Our planet has one moon, while Mercury and Venus have none and all the other planets in our solar system have two or more.
Moon is about 238,855 miles (384,400 kilometers) from Earth and makes a complete orbit of the planet in 27 days, 7 hours.
Thousands of small artificial satellites have also been placed in orbit around our planet.
The earth’s atmosphere consists of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, and 1% argon and other gases. It also contains water vapor and dust particles. Clouds float in the troposphere, the lowest part of the atmosphere. The air gets thinner as it gets further from the earth. (library.thinkquest.org)