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|Known to the ancients|
|Order from primary||3|
|Perihelion|| 147,090,000 km0.983 AU |
|Aphelion|| 152,100,000 km1.017 AU |
|Semi-major axis||1.00000011 AU149,597,886.456 km |
|Titius-Bode prediction||1.0 AU|
|Sidereal year||365.256366 da1 a|
|Synodic year||365.256366 da1 a|
|Avg. orbital speed||29.783 km/s107,218.8 km/h |
|Inclination||0.00005°8.726646e-7 rad |
5.555556e-5 grad to the ecliptic
|Sidereal day||23.9345 h0.997 da|
|Solar day||24 h1 da|
|Rotation speed|| 465.11 m/s0.465 km/s |
|Axial tilt|| 23.439281°0.409 rad |
|Mass|| 5.9736 * 1024 kg1 M⊕ |
|Mean density|| 5,515.3 kg/m³5.515 g/ml |
|Mean radius||6371 km3,958.756 mi|
|Equatorial radius||6378.135 km3,963.189 mi|
|Polar radius||6356.750 km3,949.901 mi|
|Surface gravity|| 9.780327 m/s²32.088 ft/s² |
|Escape speed|| 11.186 km/s40,269.6 km/h |
|Surface area|| 510,065,600 km²196,937,429.158 mi² |
|Land area|| 148,939,100 km²57,505,708.001 mi² |
|Water area|| 361,126,400 km²139,431,682.547 mi² |
|Minimum temperature|| 185 K-88.15 °C |
|Mean temperature|| 287 K13.85 °C |
|Maximum temperature|| 331 K57.85 °C |
|Number of moons||1|
|Composition||Rock and water|
|Magnetic flux density||0.3076 G3.076e-5 T|
|Magnetic dipole moment at present||7.98 * 1022 N-m/T|
|Magnetic dipole moment at creation||1.41 * 1024 N-m/T|
|Decay time||2049 a748,397.25 da|
|Half life||1420 a518,655 da|
The Earth is the third planet from the sun, at a distance of about 150 million kilometers (93.0 million miles). This planet is quite unique in our solar system: it is the only planet known to have the characteristics necessary to permit human and other life.
The Earth approximates a sphere, but is slightly wider across the equator than from pole to pole. The equatorial radius is 6378.135 km., while the polar radius is only 6356.750 km. Similarly, the equatorial circumference is 40,075.004 km., while the polar circumference is 39,940.638 km. It takes 365.256 days for the Earth to travel around the Sun and 23.9345 hours for the Earth to make a complete rotation. The ecliptic, or orbit of the Earth around the Sun, is the standard reference for the inclinations of the orbits of all other bodies having the Sun as a primary. The ecliptic is inclined 7.25 degrees to the equator of the Sun.
The planet Earth is made up of three main shells: the very thin, brittle crust, the mantle, and the core; the mantle and core are each divided into two parts. Although the core and mantle are about equal in thickness, the core actually forms only 15 percent of the Earth's volume, whereas the mantle occupies 84 percent. The crust makes up the remaining 1 percent. Our knowledge of the layering and chemical composition of the Earth is steadily being improved by earth scientists doing laboratory experiments on rocks at high pressure and analyzing earthquake records on computers. Other important components include the Earth's atmospheric layers, the hydrosphere, and magnetosphere.
Because the crust is accessible to us, its geology has been extensively studied, and therefore much more information is known about its structure and composition than about the structure and composition of the mantle and core. Within the crust, intricate patterns are created when rocks are redistributed and deposited in layers through the geologic processes of eruption and intrusion of lava, erosion, and consolidation of rock particles, and solidification and recrystallization of porous rock.
By the large-scale process of plate tectonics, about twelve plates, which contain combinations of continents and ocean basins, have moved around on the Earth's surface through much of geologic time. The edges of the plates are marked by concentrations of earthquakes and volcanoes. Collisions of plates can produce mountains like the Himalayas, the tallest range in the world. The plates include the crust and part of the upper mantle, and they move over a hot, yielding upper mantle zone at very slow rates of a few centimeters per year, slower than the rate at which fingernails grow. The crust is much thinner under the oceans than under continents.
The boundary between the crust and mantle is called the Mohorovicic discontinuity (or Moho); it is named in honor of the man who discovered it, the Croatian scientist Andrija Mohorovicic. No one has ever seen this boundary, but it can be detected by a sharp increase downward in the speed of earthquake waves there. The explanation for the increase at the Moho is presumed to be a change in rock types. Drill holes to penetrate the Moho have been proposed, and a Soviet hole on the Kola Peninsula has been drilled to a depth of 12 kilometers, but drilling expense increases enormously with depth, and Moho penetration is not likely very soon.
Our knowledge of the upper mantle, including the tectonic plates, is derived from analyses of earthquake waves (see figure for paths); heat flow, magnetic, and gravity studies; and laboratory experiments on rocks and minerals. Between 100 and 200 kilometers below the Earth's surface, the temperature of the rock is near the melting point; molten rock erupted by some volcanoes originates in this region of the mantle. This zone of extremely yielding rock has a slightly lower velocity of earthquake waves and is presumed to be the layer on which the tectonic plates ride. Below this low-velocity zone is a transition zone in the upper mantle; it contains two discontinuities caused by changes from less dense to more dense minerals. The chemical composition and crystal forms of these minerals have been identified by laboratory experiments at high pressure and temperature. The lower mantle, below the transition zone, is made up of relatively simple iron and magnesium silicate minerals, which change gradually with depth to very dense forms. Going from mantle to core, there is a marked decrease (about 30 percent) in earthquake wave velocity and a marked increase (about 30 percent) in density.
The core was the first internal structural element to be identified. It was discovered in 1906 by R.D. Oldham, from his study of earthquake records, and it helped to explain Newton's calculation of the Earth's density. The outer core is presumed to be liquid because it does not transmit shear waves and because the velocity of compressional waves that pass through it is sharply reduced. The inner core is considered to be solid because of the behavior of P and S waves passing through it.
Data from earthquake waves, rotations and inertia of the whole Earth, magnetic-field dynamo theory, and laboratory experiments on melting and alloying of iron all contribute to the identification of the composition of the inner and outer core. The core is presumed to be composed principally of iron, with about 10 percent alloy of oxygen or sulfur or nickel, or perhaps some combination of these three elements.
- Main article: Atmosphere
The troposphere is where all the weather takes place and is about 14,000 meters high from the Earth's surface. Coupling it with the buffer zone before the stratosphere it is 18,000 meters from the surface. The stratosphere includes the thin ozone layer which houses a high concentration of a particularly reactive form of oxygen called ozone. The ozone layer is primarily responsible for absorbing the ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
The mesosphere is the third highest layer in our atmosphere, occupying a region of 50,000 to 80,000 meters above the surface. The ionosphere is beyond that reaching 350,000 meters into space measuring from the top of the stratosphere. This component of our atmosphere is very thin but is responsible for absorbing the most energetic photons from the sun and for reflecting radio waves, essentially making long-distance radio communication possible.
- Main article: Geomagnetism
Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field powerful enough to prevent most of the sun's radiation from striking the earth and harming the life on it. This field has been decaying at a known exponential rate, as decades of recordkeeping reveal. In 1984, Russell Humphreys developed a model for the creation of magnetic fields that suggests that the earth was at first made entirely of water, much of which God transmuted into other elements after He made the earth, probably on Day 3 of creation. Humphreys' predicted magnetic decay time for the earth agrees well with published data and thus constitutes further evidence for a young earth.
The Earth's orbit is defined by five facts:
- Earth's Rotation: The Earth rotates around its axis, taking 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.091 seconds to line up relative to the stars (Sidereal day), and 24 hours plus or minus 20 seconds to line up relative to the sun (Solar day). The solar day varies because the Earth is closer to the sun at some times of the year than others, which affects its rotation.
- Moon's orbit: The moon revolves around the Earth approximately every month. As the moon passes over a section of the Earth, its gravity raises the water in the seas, causing the tides.
- Earth's Revolution: The Earth revolves around the sun approximately 365.24 days, or one year. The Earth revolves in an elliptical path, so it is closer to the sun at some times of the year than others; the Earth moves faster when it is closer to the sun, reflecting Kepler's laws of planetary motion.
- Axial tilt: The Earth is tilted on its axis approximately 23.5 degrees relative to its orbit around the sun. Because of this tilt and the Earth's orbit around the sun, the Earth's northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun from March 20 to September 22, and the southern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun from September 22 to March 20. This is what causes the seasons.
- Precession: It takes 365.2421 days for the Earth to revolve far enough to line up with the sun(the tropical year), and 365.2425 days for the Earth to revolve far enough to line up with the background stars (the sidereal year). This phenomenon, called equinox precession, causes the sun to appear to us to move a little bit relative to the stars every year in a 24,000 year cycle called the Great Year, which was the basis of the Zodiac.
The Sun, Earth, Moon and all the other planets move in a delicate, harmonious, and complex pattern, much like that of a clock. Furthermore the planetary clock is designed around the same golden ratio as the human body. All of these facts are observable and point to design not blind chance as evolutionary cosmology would lead you to believe.
An interesting inference can be deduced in the form of a question. Did these planets come to be arranged in such harmonious motion by chance and natural law, or by design?
Neither the origin of the planets, origin of the sun, or origin of the moon through the nebula hypothesis have lived up to the standard of science when philosophic naturalism is so prevalent. Furthermore as we discover more facts about their harmonious motion, many aspects of it appear to defy the known facts of astrophysics. Therefore, naturalistic explanations for the moment are not science but mere speculation or presuppositions used to interpret the observable science we all have. Many however are not even reasonable presuppositions to hold as a scientist because they are experimentally impossible.
On the other hand, the history of Genesis states that the sun, moon, and other stars (including the planets) were put into place to allow time of hours, days, years and seasons. While this fact cannot be observed or tested it is consistent with the design inference of Intelligent Design. This view is no more a presupposition than that of what evolution posits. That is to say, if someone or something did put the planets into orbit rather than the blind chance of evolution choosing the correct path to form such objects, we would expect exactly what we see now, namely planets in a harmonic, delicate balance.
Therefore, while there is no hard scientific "proof" of either views presuppositions some inferences are more reasonable than others:
- Naturalists infer that the Earth and solar system originated by strictly naturalistic means even though evidence or explanation for such is severely lacking. For example the laws and constants that govern physics are so percise that intelligent design not only becomes scientifically valid but logically deduced.
- Supernaturalists infer that the Earth and solar system were designed, due to their beautiful, harmonic, and aesthetic motion based on the golden ratio and ancient histories which affirm the creation of the Earth by God.
SatellitesTable of satellites, in order from the innermost to the outermost:
|Name||Perigee||Apogee||Eccentricity||Sidereal month||Inclination||Mass||Sidereal day|
|Moon||363300000363,300 km0.00243 AU
|405500000405,500 km0.00271 AU
|0.05490.0549||27.321727.322 da0.0748 a||0.31904618726518.28 °0.319 rad
|7.349E+221 M☾7.349e+22 kg
|2360594.88655.721 h27.322 da|
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 "Earth Fact Sheet," NASA, April 19, 2007. Accessed May 2, 2008.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Calculated
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Humphreys, D. R. "The Creation of Planetary Magnetic Fields." Creation Research Society Quarterly 21(3), December 1984. Accessed April 29, 2008.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 The Interior of the Earth by Eugene Robertson, US Geological Survey, Accessed January 13, 2011.
- ↑ Hamilton, Calvin J. "Earth Introduction." Views of the Solar System, 2001. Accessed January 11, 2008.
- ↑ "Entry on Mesosphere." Encyclopedia of the Atmospheric Environment, 2000. Accessed January 11, 2008.
- ↑ "Lecture on the Earth's Atmosphere." Astronomy 161, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, n.d. Accessed January 11, 2008.
- ↑ See II_Peter 3:5
- Earth by Conservapedia
- Earth Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS)
- Earth is ‘too special’? by Jonathan Sarfati, Creation 28(3):42–44, June 2006.