Interesting Facts about EarthWhat do we really know about Earth?
Top 10 interesting facts about our planet.
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The top 10 most interesting facts about planet Earth...
Interesting Facts About our Planet
We are born on this Earth... It is our legacy and somehow, yet, we understand very little about our beautiful planet. It took humanity hundreds upon hundreds of years to learn its secrets and yet, we have much more to learn. There are things that happen as we speak, things behind our simple understanding, behind our control, things that don't affect us directly, but make us worry on the long term.
Mother Earth can give life, but she can also take it away. It is, after all, entirely up to her if we are to survive fate another day. We are pretty much children of the Gods and I think of Earth as the "Goddess of Life," much like the Egyptian Goddess Isis was. Following, you will read about Top 10 unusual facts about our planet that I hope you will find interesting.
Interesting Fact about Earth #10: The Gravity is Not Uniform
Here's an interesting fact about our planet: throughout the Earth's surface gravity is not constant. What does that mean? It means that in some places on Earth, we might feel heavier than in others. A place where gravity is lower is located near the Indian coasts, while the gravitational pull acts more pronounced in the South Pacific Ocean. The cause behind these irregularities is currently unknown.
Interesting Fact about Earth #9: The Van Allen Radiation Belt
The Van Allen radiation belt is a plasma field surrounding the Earth, composed of electrically charged particles, held together by the planet's magnetic field. During the Apollo missions, the human crew onboard the shuttlecraft that *supposedly* brought man to the Moon were exposed to the Van Allen radiation. For this very reason, and others, I strongly believe that the first man on the moon is a hoax, despite NASA claiming they've calculated safe trajectories for their crew. In fact, I have more respect and interest for Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin as being the first man in space than I have in the Americans landing on the Moon propaganda of the 1960s.
Interesting Fact about Earth #8: The Moon is Moving Away
It took more than 20 years of careful measurements and recording of data for our scientists to finally come to terms that the Moon's orbit slowly increases its size and the Earth's natural satellite is constantly pushed away by four inches per year. According to astronomers, it appears that the Moon will keep moving away from us until the Sun will become a red giant (in about 5 billion years).How the Moon was Formed
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How the Moon was Born. An awesome video with even an even more awesome soundtrack.
What's interesting about the Moon becoming a read giant is that, when that happens, the Moon will move back towards Earth, will reach the so-called "Roche limit" (18,000 km away) and will be destroyed in very small fragments which would rotate around the Equator, a debris disk with a diameter of about 37,000 km, much like the Saturn rings. Even if spectacular in its view, the show would probably be apocalyptic for us humans.
Interesting Fact about Earth #7: The Atmosphere is Escaping
Due to the accumulated thermal energy, it's a fact that some of the molecules in the upper boundary of Earth's atmosphere, such as unfixed hydrogen, increase their movement speed to a point where they can literally escape from the sphere of influence of the planet's gravity. What's interesting about it is that this phenomenon leads to a slow but steady leakage of our atmosphere into space. However, Earth's current oxygen-rich atmosphere retains much of the surviving hydrogen, blocking it in water molecules.
Interesting Fact about Earth #6: Our Planet's Rotation Speed Varies
As one would suspect, this happens as a result of variations in the gravitational forces of the Moon, the Sun and the other planets in our solar system. Recently, days became slightly shorter, which suggests that the speed of rotation of the Earth around its axis increased. Why this happens is yet unknown, but it's a fact that the oscillations are dependant on certain periods of the year. Thus, the most pronounced slowing down of our planet takes place in winter, when Earth reaches its minimum speed.
Interesting Fact about Earth #5: Moon Has Tidal Effect on Atmosphere
As the Moon influences our planet's oceans, she also has a tidal effect on our atmosphere. At least in theory, because such measurements require a lot of finesse. The so-called Moon wind is however weak when compared with the Solar wind from the upper atmosphere. Yet, the Moon tide is a mysterious and interesting fact about our planet.Asteroid Hitting Earth (HD)
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Asteroid Hitting Earth. The asteroid impact video is also available in HD. Switch to 720p.
Interesting Fact about Earth #4: The Chandler Wobble
A small variation in Earth's axis of rotation relative to the planet's surface, first discovered by American astronomer Seth Charles Chandler in 1891. What happens is that the Earth's poles move in an irregular circle of up to 20 feet in diameter. The cause of this phenomenon is not entirely known, but in 2001 NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory stated that the main cause of the "wobble" is on the ocean's floor: the pressure fluctuation from changes in temperature and salinity, and also the changes in Ocean currents circulation.
However, in 2006 scientists were baffled to find out that the Chandler Wobble has stopped, followed by aprox. six weeks of a significant pause. This anomaly has been a great factor of interest in obtaining a better understanding of the phenomenon, but it is not known if this has caused or will cause catastrophic changes in the rotation axis of our planet. We are, as always, at the mercy of our planet...
Interesting Fact about Earth #3: Tons of Interplanetary Matter Lands on Earth
About 20,000 tons of interplanetary dust reaches Earth's surface EVERY YEAR, states space.com. How does it happen? Well, most asteroids are orbiting the Sun in a belt located between planets Mars and Jupiter. Fragments resulting from their collisions sometimes end up close to Earth. The rocks and dust that are moving fast relative to our planet will enter the atmosphere frequently and burn up, becoming what we call "shooting stars". However, objects that move slowly relative to Earth's rotation speed can be captured by our planet's gravity, survive atmospheric entry and eventually reach the ground. Luckily for us, this doesn't happen very often.
Interesting Facts about the Earth #2: Earth's Electrical Charge
Scientists know since the 1900s that Earth's surface is charged with negative electricity, but nobody knows exactly what maintains this strange charge. It's not a very strong current - about 1,500 amps, not much more than the current that flows through several high voltage lines. Although it is slowly consumed, the charge remains constant, so it must be restored somehow, otherwise it would already be depleted.
Scientists find this fact very interesting and are trying hard to figure out the cause behind this strange phenomenon. One obvious theory is that lightning somehow restores the lost energy, but nobody managed to prove this theory entirely. Due to careful measurements of the air above the storm clouds, scientists had to accept the idea that thunderstorms generate a current of approx. 1,500 amps, enough to offset the consumption and keep constant Earth's electrical charge. Although it's not a proven fact.
Interesting Fact about Earth #1: Earth's Magnetic Poles are Shifting
The number one on our list of most interesting facts about Earth is the so-called "magnetic reversals." During a polarity reversal, the planet's magnetic North pole becomes South and the other way around. During the past 160 million years there were hundreds of such reversals, the last one happening more than 400,000 years ago. A complete reversal takes thousands of years and has unforeseen consequences. It has happened many times before.
From what we can assume, migratory birds and other animals such as sharks will have difficulty orienting themselves and the Earth will be potentially exposed to deadly cosmic radiation, a good theme for post apocalypse stories. Cosmic rays, which are normally rejected by our planet's magnetic field, will pass right through it at some point during the reversal, when the magnetic field becomes zero. Did you know? Earth's magnetic poles shifting is also one of the main reason why the world would end on December 21 2012.
Our scientists understand very little about this phenomenon. Not that I blame them; we weren't around to see it after all... A recent discovery in the polarity reversal sequence made scientists believe that this process doesn't happen randomly, but rather in a "memorized" sequence. In other words, the polarity reversals are not independent of each other but are interconnected. Connected or not, I hope Mankind had perfected space flight to the point of creating new colonies by the time that happens or else we may end up "well fried."
One can have a look at the Earth and see it as a living, breathing organism. Because it regulates temperature, burns energy, continually renews its skin, and experiences changes to its surface as it ages, it's safe to assume that our planet is alive. In fact, it's a super organism! I like to call it... GAIA.
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