Astronomy in questions and answers
astronomy in questions and answers
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The Earth [Questions 1-6]

1. What is the Earth?

The Earth is a planet. It rotates on its axis, revolves around the Sun and moves with the Sun through space. The Earth gets its warmth and light from the Sun. All around the Earth is atmosphere. We breathe it, and it gives us our weather. The air is always moving. The movements of the air make our winds. Small drops of water in the air form clouds. And as the clouds move about they bring us rain and snow and storms.

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2. How big is the Earth?

The equatorial diameter of the Earth is 12,756 kilometres. The Earth is like a sphere, but flat at the poles. This makes a difference of only 43 kilometres between the Earth's diameter at the equator and the diameter at the poles. The weight of the Earth is the figure 6 followed by 21 zeros if count in tons.

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3. When do we have night and day?

The Earth rotates around once every twenty-four hours. When our part of the Earth faces the Sun, we see sunlight and have day. When our part turns away from the Sun's light, we have night. When our part begins to turn toward the Sun and we see the first sunlight, we call it morning. When we are facing the Sun most directly, it is noon. When the Earth begins to turn away from the Sun, we have afternoon and evening. And night.

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4. How fast does the Earth travel around the Sun?

The Earth's average speed is 29.8 kilometres per second. The small eccentricity of the Earth's orbit makes the little difference in its speed, but there is a difference in the length of the seasons because of this variation. The number of days between the beginning of spring and of autumn, in the northern hemisphere, is 186, but the number of days between the beginning of autumn and the beginning of spring is 179.

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5. What seasons does the Earth have?

The Earth takes 365 1/4 days to travel around the Sun. This makes our year. As the Earth travels around, first one pole then the other is tilted toward the Sun. When the North pole tilts toward the Sun, the Sun's rays shine straighter down on the northern half of the world. It is warmer and has its summer (June, July, and August). It also has longer days, because it turns to the Sun more of the time. When the South pole is toward the Sun, the southern half of the world is warmer, and it has its summer (December, January and February). Then the northern half is getting less direct sunshine, because it tilts away from the Sun. It has shorter days. It has winter.
The seasons between we call spring and autumn.

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6. Does the Earth have seasons at the North and South poles?

Yes. The difference between seasons at the Earth's poles is more one of light than of temperature. The Sun can be seen in the sky of the regions beyond the Arctic and Antarctic Circles for about 6 months of each year, and to be absent from the sky for the other 6 months. It is always cold at the poles, but it is colder in winter, than in summer.

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See also
• The Sun
• The Moon
• Mercury, Venus and Mars
• Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
• Meteors and Comets
• Stars
• The Constellations
• Galaxies
• Scientists and Astronomers

Related Internet Links
• The Nine Planets
• Earth Picture of the Day
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