Where is Earth in the Solar System?

Earth is the third planet from the Sun.

Our Solar System consists of eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Earth is the third planet in this progression. It is approximately 150 million km (93 million miles) from the Sun; a distance that is also known as one AU. The Sun is generally considered to be at the center of our Solar System, which in turn in located on one of the spirals of the Milky Way.

Out of the eight planets in our Solar System, the Earth is the only planet that can currently sustain life. It has the ideal conditions, the correct temperature, water, an atmosphere, etc. The presence of water was especially important for the development of life as we know it. Hence the fact that the Earth’s surface is 70% water helped its cause. Furthermore, the fact that this surface water can stay in a liquid state is ever more important and marvelous. Water only stays liquid between the temperatures of 0 and 100 deg Celsius (32 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit). If we consider the range of temperatures available in the universe, this 100 deg range is quite small.  Hence it is marvelous that the conditions on Earth can support the water’s state, without which there would probably be no life on Earth.

The Earth’s atmosphere also plays an important part in sustaining life. The thin line of air above the Earth’s crust is made up of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other ingredients. This mixture envelops us and keeps the Earth warm, similar to a greenhouse. It also deflects the ultraviolet rays of the Sun, which can be very harmful in large quantities. The atmosphere also protects us from any meteors coming to hit Earth; most of the meteors burn up in the atmosphere before they can strike the surface as meteorites.

The Earth’s diameter is 7,926 miles, which makes it the fifth largest planet in the solar system. It is in fact the largest terrestrial planet. A terrestrial planet is any rocky planet, with a solid and dynamic surface of mountains, valleys, canyons, plains, etc. However, it is the only terrestrial planet with an ocean; this makes it the only ocean planet in the Solar System.

The circumference of the Earth as measured around the equator is 24,901 miles. It takes the Earth approximately 24 hours to complete a rotation around its axis, and about 365.26 days to complete a revolution around the Sun. The rotation of the Earth causes day and night, whereas the axis is responsible for the seasons on Earth. When the North Pole is tilted towards the Sun, that region experiences summer; whereas the part away from the Sun experiences winter, and vice versa. 

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