Jul 21, 2009

The Earth

Earth, being the third planet from the Sun, is the only planet in our Solar System (called the Milky Way) that supports life. Earth is just far enough from the Sun to ensure the climate isn’t too hot or too cold for life-form to exist, unlike other planets. This distance is an average of 149 million kilometers, or a minimum of 146 million kilometers and maximum of 152 million kilometers, depending on the tilt of planet’s axis [1]. In other words, it’s roughly the same as traveling around the Earth’s diameter 11,500 times.

Earth owns her very own moon and mankind has already paid it a visit (Image: Earth and Moon, as seen from outer space; Source: NASA). This led to the famous, simple yet philosophical, phrase, 'One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind'. Our planet has been around for around 4.5 billion years and is expected to stick around for another 0.5 to 1 billion years [2]. By then, the Sun would be too bright and therefore, too hot, to support our form of life. Hopefully, we won’t we around by then, but our descendants will definitely feel the heat (pun intended). And with the onset of global warming, this may possible happen sooner.