Our Planet: Earth
Earth is the third planet from the sun and the only planet in our solar system that has life. It is a terrestrial planet, meaning it has a solid surface and is not made of gas. Earth's gravity holds us to its surface, giving us weight. Earth's atmosphere protects us from harmful radiation from outer space. Earth's magnetic field helps protect us by deflecting charged particles away.
Earth is made up of three layers: the crust, the mantle, and the core. The crust is made up of many different types of rocks, which can range from hard to soft. Together with the mantle, it forms a strong layer that protects life on earth by resisting forces such as earthquakes and volcanoes. The core is composed of metal alloys (mostly iron and nickel) that are liquid at high temperatures.
Earth is home to billions of living things, including animals, birds, fish, insects, plants, and us! In this article, we will go through 10 of the most interesting facts for kids to learn about the planet they live on!
Top 10 Interesting Facts about Earth for Kids
The Earth is not a perfectly shaped sphere
The Earth is not a perfect sphere. It is actually an oblate spheroid. This means that the Earth's shape is flatter at the poles and wider at the equator. This phenomenon, called geoid undulation, is due to the gravitational attraction of large masses like oceans and mountains.
70% of the Earth’s surface is water
The Earth is made up of 70% water, so it’s no surprise that the majority of it is too. It’s everywhere you look- in the sky, on land, and even underneath you! The Earth has a lot more water than we need to survive, but for some animals and plants, it’s necessary.
The Earth’s atmosphere goes to about 10,000 km
Earth’s atmosphere goes to about 10,000 km. The atmosphere is made up of gases like nitrogen, oxygen, and ozone. It also contains dust, water vapor, and pollutants. The atmosphere protects the Earth by trapping light and heat from the Sun. There are 5 layers that make up the atmosphere – the Troposphere, the Stratosphere, the Mesosphere, the Thermosphere, and the Exosphere.
The Earth’s Core creates a magnetic field
The magnetic field is the component of Earth's electromagnetic field that is responsible for the planet's magnetosphere. The magnetic field protects the Earth from the solar wind, cosmic radiation, and charged particles.
The Earth is the only planet in our solar system that has life.
The Earth is the only planet in our solar system that has life. This makes it a singularity which is the only example of what life on other planets might be like. It's an important distinction when considering how we might search for extraterrestrial life and what to do if we find it.
The Earth is spinning around its axis at a speed of 1000 miles per hour.
If the Earth is spinning that fast, why don’t we feel it? Well, we do feel wind which is partly caused by the Earth’s rotation. Due to gravity and the constant speed of rotation, we don’t feel the Earth spinning. We are held very tightly to the Earth’s surface because of both of these phenomena.
Plate tectonics keeps the Earth habitable
Plate tectonics is the study of how and why the Earth's surface moves. It helps to determine the way in which continents are built, as well as how earthquakes happen. The Earth's crust is formed from the earth's mantle, the layer beneath the Earth's outermost layer, the crust. The mantle is made up of hot semi-solid material that was once magma. The plate tectonic move back and forth, allowing the magma to rise up and create new crust.
The Earth doesn’t take 24 hours to rotate
Did you know that the Earth actually takes 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds to rotate on its axis? This is known as a Sidereal Day!
A year isn’t actually 365 days
A year is actually 365 and a quarter days long. This time adds up, and that is why every 4 years we have a Leap Year! Every 4 years we have a leap day at the end of February.
Along with the moon, the Earth has 2 other co-orbital satellites
The Earth's moon is by far the most well-known satellite. However, there are many other satellites that orbit along with our planet Earth, some of which are only visible under certain conditions. Earth has two other co-orbital satellites: 3753 Cruithne and 2002 AA29, both asteroids apart of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).
The Earth is our home, the only planet we know of that sustains life. It is important to introduce our kids to these facts about Earth because they learn knowledge about the natural world and environment. At Ivy Camps USA, we provide courses like Exploring Earth & Space that teach your kids about our planet and why it is important. Sign your kids up today!