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How big is the world?

How big is the world?
Luci Murray from Stockton on Tees (Aged 5-14)


One Response

  1. Hi Young Scientist :).
    The World, our planet – Earth, is a very big place compared to us. Yet, Earth is small compared to some other planets in our solar system (Jupiter, a ‘gas giant’ could hold over a thousand Earths), and very tiny compared to our nearest star – which we call The Sun.
    (Over one million Earth-sized balls would fit into a ball as big as the Sun!)
    Some Facts about ‘The World’—
    *Earth is the third ‘planet’ from the Sun,
    *and the largest ‘terrestrial’ (rocky) ‘inner planet’
    -in diameter, mass and density-
    (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are in this group)
    *And Earth is the only place in the ‘universe’ where
    life, as we know it, is thought to exist.
    Our planet is now home to millions of species, including humans – but evidence suggests that the highly energetic chemistry on Earth produced the first self-replicating molecule around four billion years ago i.e. four thousand million years ago! However, the last common ancestor of all life existed some half billion years later. Then several million years ago an African ape-like animal gained the ability to stand upright and the rest, as they say, “Is history” – written records stretch back to cover the last 5000 years.
    That aside, here is a selection of the many ‘vital statistics’ which convey an impression of the size of our world:
    * Circumference, 40,041.47 km (mean).
    Earth is a little fatter around the middle than from North to South poles.
    i.e. Earth has a shape which is described as an ‘oblate spheroid’ with an equatorial diameter which is 43 km larger than the pole to pole diameter. (The metre was originally defined as 1/10,000,000 of the distance from the equator to the North Pole through Paris, France.
    • Surface area, 510,072,000 kilometres squared.
    • Of this, 71% is under water e.g. rivers, lakes, sea and oceans.
    • To travel from England to Australia (almost halfway round
    the world) would be a distance of about 20,000 kilometres.
    To travel ten times around the world would be a distance which is as
    far as going from Earth to our Moon.
    For comparison, to drive around the world, if that were possible, would take about
    nineteen days at a steady 90 kilometres (55 miles) per hour. The Space Shuttle takes an hour and a half at 29,000 kilometres (18,000 miles per hour). A pulse of light would encircle our planet seven times in one second !
    I hope this collection of facts answers your question about the size of our world.
    Good Luck,

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