facts about Earth

Facts About Earth

List of Fascinating Facts About Earth

Discover mind-blowing and fascinating facts about Earth! The world is a big place so we’re pretty sure there’s even more figures, information and facts about earth to discover during your lifetime. As Richard Bach, a famous American writer and bestselling novelist said, “Here is a Test to Find Whether Your Mission on Earth is Finished: If You’re Alive, it Isn’t!” 

ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort facts about earth. Click the + icon to show any hidden columns. Set your browser to full screen to show as many columns as possible. Start typing in the Filter table box to find anything inside the table of all facts about earth.

Facts About EarthFigure / AmountSignificance / Interesting Facts
Earth’s speed in Orbit (orbital velocity)66,000 mph (106,211 km/h)This is equivalent to approximately 18.3 miles (29.5 km) PER SECOND. Ever wondered why you sometimes feel dizzy? Spare a thought for Mercurians who are racing through space at 31 miles (50 km) per second.
Earth’s escape velocity7 miles per second (11.3kph), or approximately 25,000 mph (40,234kph)This is the speed an object must travel in order to break free of the Earth’s gravity without falling back to the surface. It would be easier from the moon with much lower gravity – just 1.48 mps (2.38kps), but on huge Jupiter your booster tanks would need to muster 37mps (59,52kps)!
Earth’s rotation speed
It’s complicated but the video explains it really well. The speed depends where you are on Earth. The Earth’s circumference at the equator is roughly 25,000 miles (40,000 km) and the Earth rotates in ca. 24 hours. So if you are standing on the equator you would be moving at a speed of about 1070mph (1670 km/h). In slow moving Anchorage you’d be dawdling at a speed of 503mph (810kph), in racy LA you’re up to 860mph (1384kph) and in London a gentle 652 mph (1049kph).
Axial tilt23 degrees 27 minutes 8.26 secondsThis denotes the angle between the Earth’s rotational axis and a line perpendicular to its orbital plane. The axis tilt in the same direction all year. At one point in the orbit, our hemisphere points towards the Sun and, half a year later, away from it. This causes the different seasons.
No. of objects orbiting the Earth22,000This consists of around 5% operational satellites, and 95% junk.
Cost of Earth’s space station$150 billionThe space station is the costliest object ever built.
Length of a tropical year365.24 daysA tropical (or solar) year equates to the time between equinoxes.
Length of a sidereal year365.26 daysSidereal (from the Latin for “star”) time depends on the rate of the Earth’s rotation relative to fixed stars. In this example, the time required for Earth to orbit the sun once.
Average length of a solar day24 hours and 3 minutes and 56.5555 seconds at mean solar timeSolar time is based on the Sun’s movement (which is really the Earth’s rotation). Clocks measure the time the Earth takes to rotate once. The Sun appears to us to revolve around the Earth in 24 hours. This is known as a solar day.
Average length of a sidereal day23 hours and 56 minutes and 4.091 seconds at mean sidereal timeSidereal time is based on the seeming motion of fixed stars due to Earth’s rotation. The Earth moves ca. 1° along its orbit per day. So from our viewpoint, the Sun moves ca. 1° from west to east in respect of the fixed stars. Our clocks, which are based on solar time, measure a sidereal day as 23h and 56 minutes.
Earth’s average albedo30-35%Albedo comes from the Latin for white and describes the average reflection of light received back into space. It is an important indicator of climate change. The average varies according to cloud cover and over the surface with different features. A body with perfect reflection would have an Albedo of 100%.
Surface gravity9.78 m/s2Surface gravity (a) is equal to the Universal Gravitational Constant (G) x the mass (M) of the planet ÷ the square of its radius (r). This each planet has a different surface gravity. On Pluto with just 0.07 you could pretty much jump over a mountain whereas on Jupiter with 2.6 you wouldn’t want to even get up!
Earth’s farthest distance from the Sun94.54m. miles (152m. km)Called the Earth’s aphelion. The increased distance has little influence on temperatures on Earth – only around 7% less sunlight reaches the planet. The Earth’s tilt has a far greater effect on temperatures. When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun it is summer.
Closest distance to the Sun91m. miles  (146m. km)Called the perihelion, from peri – the Latin for near, and heli – Greek for sun.
Average distance from the Sun92.96m. miles  (149.6m. km)The distance to the sun varies because of the Earth’s elliptical orbit.
Earth’s orbit around the Sun584,000,000 miles  (939,856,896 km)This journey takes 365.25 days. The journey would be quicker for Mercurians – 3 Earth months, but Neptunes would be on the road for ca. 165 Earth years. Here you will find more facts about earth and our sun.
Closest distance to Mercury48m. miles (77m. km)The farthest distance is 138m. miles (222m. km). Here you will find more facts about earth and all planets in universe.
Closest distance to Mars34m. miles (56m. km)The farthest distance is 249m. miles (401m. km)
Closest distance to Jupiter390,682,810m. miles (628,743,036m. km)The farthest distance is 576 682 810m. miles (928,081,020m. km).
Closest distance to Saturn745 645 431m. miles (1.2b.km)The farthest distance is 1.04b. miles (1.67b. km)
Closest distance to Uranus1.6b. miles (2.57b. km)The farthest distance is 1.96b. miles (3.15b. km)
Closest distance to Neptune2.7b. miles (4.3b. km)The farthest distance is 2.8b. miles (4.5b. km)
Closest distance to Pluto2.6b. miles (4.2b. km)The farthest distance is 4.6b. miles (7.5b. km). You’re not going to get there and back in time for tea!
Closest distance to the Moon225,622 miles (363,104 km)The farthest distance (known as the apogee) is 252,088 miles (406,696 km)
Closest distance to Venus23.6m. miles (38m. km)The farthest distance is 162m. miles (261m. km). No planet comes closer to the Earth. Here you will find more facts about earth and all planets in our solar system.
Earth’s mass6600 million million million tons, or 13,160,000,000,000,
000, 000,000,000 lbs
Also expressed as 5.9736E24 kg, or 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg, or 5.9 sextillion tonnes. Although that’s fairly heavy, the Sun is 330,000 times heavier.
Surface area197m. sq miles (510m. km2)Saturn is 84 times bigger, Mercury is only 1/10th as big. The moon is around 7% as big.
Of which water71%, 139m. sq miles (360.6m. km2)Earth is the only planet known to have water. Others may have underground water or water vapor.
Of which land29%, 57m. sq miles (149.4m. km2)
Used for agriculture19 m. sq miles (50 m. km2)Equivalent to about 33% of land area
Woodland15 m. sq miles (40 m. km2)Equivalent to about 27% of land area
Distribution of surface area20% desert, 6% rainforest, 17% coniferous forest, deciduous forest, 6%, 15% tundra, 30% grassland, 6% otherRainforests have declined from 14% to just 6% today. A further 58,000 sq miles (150,000 km2) of rainforest is disappearing each year. The biggest desert is the Sahara with a size of 3.5 mio. sq miles (9 mio. km2).
Largest continentAsia: 17.2m. sq miles (44.6m. km2)The actual size of Asia is open to interpretation as it runs seamlessly into Europe, hence “Eurasia”. As it is currently defined it has about 30% of the planet’s land area and 8.5% of surface area.
Largest oceanPacific: 64m. sq miles (165 m. km2)Pacific meaning “peaceful” was named by Portuguese explorer Magellan in 1521. It covers more than 30% of the earth’s surface and ca. half of the Earth’s water area. It contains > 25,000 islands. Here you will find more facts about earth and all 5 oceans on the world.
Largest islandGreenland: 840,000 sq. miles (2.2m. km2)Some see Greenland not as an island but as a continent like Australia. There isn’t an  official definition of a continent but geologically Greenland is part of the North American plate. Here you will find more facts about earth and all largest islands on the world.
Largest island in a lake1068 sq miles (2766 km2)Manitoulin in Lake Huron (Canada)
Highest mountain29,035 feet (8848 m)Mount Everest in the Himalayan mountains. Find more facts about earth and Top 20 highest mountains in the world.
Depth of deepest part of the sea6.8 miles (11 km)Mariana Trench in the Pacific. Not really a “Trench” but a subduction zone caused by the Pacific tectonic plate pushing under the Philippine plate. Here you will find more facts about earth and deepest seas in the world.
Lowest dry point on Earth (below sea level)1,380 feet (420 m) below sea levelShore of the Dead Sea. 42 miles (67 km ) long and 11 miles (18 km) wide. Also the world’s second saltiest water body with 30% salinity (> 8 times saltier than the ocean).
Percentage of salt water on Earth97%On average the water has a salinity of ca. 3.5%. The little bit of fresh water left is mostly in ice or the ground. Only 0.3% is on the surface, mainly in lakes. The Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system on the Earth and provide 84% of North America’s fresh water.
Equatorial diameter7926 miles (12,756 km)The Earth has been slightly flattened by its rotation making it slightly further from east to west than north to south.
Polar diameter7900 miles (12,713 km)The average diameter is 7,926 miles (12,735 km).
Equatorial Circum-ferenceCa. 24,900 miles (40,070 km)The Polar Circumference is 42 miles (67 km) further.
Temperature at the Earth’s coreca. 9900° F / 5482° CIn this furnace sits a solid ball of iron some 1500 miles (2414km) across.
Outer crust thicknessOn average 18.6-21.75 (30-35 km) thickDivided into Oceanic and continental crust. The Oceanic crust is only 0-6 miles (0-10 km) deep.
Mantle thickness1800 miles (2900 km) thickDivided into upper, lower and D” mantle.
Outer core thicknessApproximately 1300 miles (2100 km) thickConsists of molten iron.
Depth of the Earth’s core5150-6370 kmThe inner core is solid and not attached to the mantle but suspended by the molten outer core. Through the Earth’s rotation the hot outer core creates generates Earth’s magnetic field through a dynamo effect.
Temperature in the Earth’s core5000-6000° CelsiusFor years, the temperature was estimated to be ca. 5000° C but recent research has bumped up the figure by 1000° C. This is about the same as the surface of the sun.
Earth’s atmosphere79% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, 0.93% argon, carbon dioxide 0.03%Almost all the oxygen was produced by plants (blue-green algae). The Earth’s atmosphere has various layers. First the troposphere where weather takes place, then the thin tropopause. Next is the stratosphere topped by a thin ozone layer. Farther out are the mesosphere and finally the ionosphere which handily reflects radio waves making long-distance communication possible. Here you will find more facts about earth, oceans and nature in the world.
Extent of Earth’s atmosphere6,200 miles (10,000 km) above the surface.Only the first 30 miles (50 km) or so are thickish. The exosphere starts at about 300 miles (500 km). At the outer edge, atmospheric particles are blown away by solar wind.

Related Facts about Earth and Space General Knowledge Lists:

Take an ADDucation Quiz & Test Your Knowledge of Earth and Space

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

thirteen + 6 =