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Our Home Planet
Earth, our home planet, is the only planet in our solar system known to harbor life - life that is incredibly diverse. All the things we need to survive exist under a thin layer of atmosphere that separates us from the cold, airless void of space.

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  News Features People Extreme Facts Dictionary

A Steady Hand
The moon is more than a pretty accessory in our night sky. It stabilizes Earth's wobble, which led to a more stable climate and probably helped life evolve. The moon also guides the ebb and flow of Earth's oceans.
A Steady Hand
Go West, Young Continent
Earth's land surfaces are constantly in motion. North America is creeping west into the Pacific Ocean at a rate roughly equal to the growth of your fingernails.
Go West, Young Continent
Shields Up
Earth's atmosphere does more than just give us air to breath. It shields us from almost all the harmful radiation of the sun and protects us from most meteorite impacts. Without our atmosphere, Earth would be a lifeless, cratered hunk of rock such as the moon or the planet Mercury.
Shields Up
Constant Bombardment
Earth is hit by up to 10,000,000 kg (22,000,000 lbs) of meteors each day -- and hardly anyone notices. Most of the material is dust-like grains so light they actually drift gently to Earth.
Constant Bombardment
Water-World
Earth, unlike the other planets is not named after a Greek god or goddess. Instead, Earth is named for what it is: "earth," which simply means "ground." However, this name is a bit misleading since the Earth is actually more of an ocean planet than an earth planet. Nearly 70% of the Earth's surface is covered in oceans.
Water-World
Twin Sisters?
Venus and the Earth are both terrestrial worlds with similar compositions and gravity. At nearly the same size, they orbit the sun in "next-door-neighbor" positions. But that, however, is where the similarities end. The Earth and Venus' atmosphere's are quite different. A runaway greenhouse effect on Venus creates a thick, crushing and toxic atmosphere, which makes the planet certainly suffocating, extremely hot and unlivable. The Earth's atmosphere, on the other hand, is perfect for life.
Twin Sisters?
Crawling with Life
We live on one unusual world. There is life here on Earth -- and lots of it. Earth is the only planet known to have life.
Crawling with Life
Seasonal Switch
Did you know that the tilt of the Earth's axis causes the seasons? This same tilt also causes it to be summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere at the same time. When the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing hot, summer weather during the months of July and August, the Southern Hemisphere is in the dead of winter. Six months later the reverse is true. Imagine having Christmas in Australia: There you may be more inclined to surf the waves than sled down a snowy hill.
Seasonal Switch
Light Show
Earth's magnetosphere protects us from the sun's solar radiation and the solar wind. But not only that, it also helps to provide for a good show. Without the magnetosphere and its interactions with the Earth's atmosphere and particles from the solar wind we would not have the aurorae -- aka, the Northern and Southern Lights.
Light Show
Good Morning
The Earth is the the third planet from the sun at a distance of about 150 million km (93 million miles). At this distance it takes about eight minutes for sunlight from our home star to reach the surface of our planet.
Good Morning
A Steady Hand
The moon is more than a pretty accessory in our night sky. It stabilizes Earth's wobble, which led to a more stable climate and probably helped life evolve. The moon also guides the ebb and flow of Earth's oceans.
A Steady Hand
Go West, Young Continent
Earth's land surfaces are constantly in motion. North America is creeping west into the Pacific Ocean at a rate roughly equal to the growth of your fingernails.
Go West, Young Continent
Shields Up
Earth's atmosphere does more than just give us air to breath. It shields us from almost all the harmful radiation of the sun and protects us from most meteorite impacts. Without our atmosphere, Earth would be a lifeless, cratered hunk of rock such as the moon or the planet Mercury.
Shields Up
Constant Bombardment
Earth is hit by up to 10,000,000 kg (22,000,000 lbs) of meteors each day -- and hardly anyone notices. Most of the material is dust-like grains so light they actually drift gently to Earth.
Constant Bombardment
Water-World
Earth, unlike the other planets is not named after a Greek god or goddess. Instead, Earth is named for what it is: "earth," which simply means "ground." However, this name is a bit misleading since the Earth is actually more of an ocean planet than an earth planet. Nearly 70% of the Earth's surface is covered in oceans.
Water-World
Twin Sisters?
Venus and the Earth are both terrestrial worlds with similar compositions and gravity. At nearly the same size, they orbit the sun in "next-door-neighbor" positions. But that, however, is where the similarities end. The Earth and Venus' atmosphere's are quite different. A runaway greenhouse effect on Venus creates a thick, crushing and toxic atmosphere, which makes the planet certainly suffocating, extremely hot and unlivable. The Earth's atmosphere, on the other hand, is perfect for life.
Twin Sisters?
Crawling with Life
We live on one unusual world. There is life here on Earth -- and lots of it. Earth is the only planet known to have life.
Crawling with Life
Seasonal Switch
Did you know that the tilt of the Earth's axis causes the seasons? This same tilt also causes it to be summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere at the same time. When the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing hot, summer weather during the months of July and August, the Southern Hemisphere is in the dead of winter. Six months later the reverse is true. Imagine having Christmas in Australia: There you may be more inclined to surf the waves than sled down a snowy hill.
Seasonal Switch
Light Show
Earth's magnetosphere protects us from the sun's solar radiation and the solar wind. But not only that, it also helps to provide for a good show. Without the magnetosphere and its interactions with the Earth's atmosphere and particles from the solar wind we would not have the aurorae -- aka, the Northern and Southern Lights.
Light Show
Good Morning
The Earth is the the third planet from the sun at a distance of about 150 million km (93 million miles). At this distance it takes about eight minutes for sunlight from our home star to reach the surface of our planet.
Good Morning