Earth is the planet on which we live, the 3rd planet from the Sun. Questions using this tag should be about Earth the planet and not Earth-like planets nor earth, as in dirt or soil.

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132
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15answers
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How do I explain to a six year old why people on the other side of the Earth don't fall off? [closed]

Today a friend's six year old sister asked me the question "why don't people on the other side of the earth fall off?". I tried to explain that the Earth is a huge sphere and there's a special force ...
51
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8answers
25k views

Proof that the Earth rotates?

What is the proof, without leaving the Earth, and involving only basic physics, that the earth rotates around its axis? By basic physics I mean the physics that the early physicists must've used to ...
46
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2answers
8k views

Was the 2013 meteor over Russia stronger than an atomic bomb?

Reports of the Russian meteor event (2013) say that it released more energy than 20 atomic bombs of the size dropped on Hiroshima, Japan: Scientists estimated the meteor unleashed a force 20 times ...
42
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5answers
9k views

Why has Earth's core not become solid?

The Earth is billions of years old, yet its core has not yet cooled down and become solid. Will this happen in the foreseeable future?
41
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8answers
83k views

Why doesn't the Moon fall upon Earth?

Why doesn't the Moon, or for that matter anything rotating another larger body, ever fall into the larger body?
38
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6answers
6k views

How can the Earth keep spinning with a liquid core?

In regards to the 'conservation of angular momentum' being the explanation of why celestial objects spin... If you fill a ball or any other container with a liquid and try to spin it, you will not ...
36
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12answers
57k views

What is the simplest way to prove the Earth is round?

Assume you've come in contact with a tribe of people cut off from the rest of the world, or you've gone back in time several thousand years, or (more likely) you've got a numbskull cousin. How would ...
34
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4answers
5k views

Why is Earth's climate so stable?

Earth wasn't always the only water-world in the solar system. Mars also appear to have started out wet but, as conditions changed, Mars lost its oceans. So, how has Earth managed to avoid a ...
33
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5answers
18k views

Would you be weightless at the center of the Earth?

If you could travel to the center of the Earth (or any planet), would you be weightless there?
32
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8answers
12k views

Would it matter if the Earth rotated clockwise?

In the Futurama episode "That Darn Katz!" they save the world by rotating the Earth backwards saying it shouldn't matter (which direction Earth rotates). If Earth rotated clockwise and remained in ...
31
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5answers
8k views

If the Earth is a good conductor of electricity, why don't people get electrocuted every time they touch the Earth?

Since the Earth is a good conductor of electricity, is it safe to assume that any charge that flows down to the Earth must be redistributed into the Earth in and along all directions? Does this also ...
30
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4answers
14k views

Why is a new moon not the same as a solar eclipse?

Forgive the elementary nature of this question: Because a new moon occurs when the moon is positioned between the earth and sun, doesn't this also mean that somewhere on the Earth, a solar eclipse ...
27
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2answers
1k views

Why doesn't Earth's atmosphere form bands due to different rotational speeds?

If the Earth's atmosphere is rotating at the same speed as Earth, then the atmosphere must be rotating much faster at the equator than at the poles. If you spin a ball covered in oil, it will form ...
23
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5answers
7k views

Build a ring around Earth, then remove the supports

What would happen if we decided to build a giant ring that managed to wrap around the whole world, end to end that was supported with pillars all along the ring and then the supports all suddenly ...
23
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7answers
8k views

If the gravity at the center of the Earth is zero, why are heavy elements like iron there?

If gravity is zero at the center of the earth, why is there a core of heavy elements, such as iron? Alternate question for the opposite hypothesis: If gravity is greatest at the center of the ...
22
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11answers
2k views

Backyard experiments to falsify the Flat Earth theory [duplicate]

I recently became aware that the flat Earth theory still exists in the 21st century, and has colored the views of a friend of mine. Roughly speaking, the tenets are: The Earth is a flat disk, with ...
21
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3answers
908 views

Are the air particles in today's wind on earth (more or less) the same as the air 2/3 billion years ago?

So the air pressure on earth remains relatively constant, right? Is there air gained or lost through transitions of any sort? e.g. plumes going out into space, earth gaining new air particles with ...
21
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2answers
5k views

How long until we fall into the Sun?

As a planet moves through the solar system, a bow shock is formed as the solar wind is decelerated by the magnetic field of the planet. Presumably the creation of this shock wave would cause drag on ...
21
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1answer
2k views

How fast is the Earth-Sun distance changing

This is inspired by Evidence that the Solar System is expanding like the Universe?, which referenced an article by G. A. Krasinsky and V. A. Brumberg, "Secular Increase of Astronomical Unit from ...
20
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2answers
9k views

What is the net charge of the Earth?

This question arose in a seminar today about the solar wind... This is my vagueish understanding of the problem - please correct if you see errors! The 'classical' picture of atmospheric electricity ...
19
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3answers
5k views

How quickly was the Earth rotating 250 million years ago?

The Earth is slowing at a rate of $4.7\times10^{-4}$ miles per second every 100 years due to tidal forces of the moon. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_rotation ...
19
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5answers
2k views

Does the Moon's core still contain significant heat?

On earth, using earth-sheltering techniques can significantly reduce the temperature fluctuations on a structure. Would the same statement be true as well on the Moon? Does the Moon's core still ...
18
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3answers
2k views

I was told that if the Moon had a retrograde orbit, tides would have a faster rhythm. Why is that?

Would this be because tidal deceleration causing the Earth to spin faster or are there other actions in play that I haven't considered? Would the Earth even spin faster because of the tidal ...
18
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5answers
6k views

Can Helium Disappear from Earth?

Can Helium disappear? As we know Helium is lighter than air, so basically Helium fly off from Earth. Is it possible that in the future we will run out Helium?
16
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8answers
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How do stars from far away affect Earth?

I know that we obviously get light (or we wouldn't be able to see them), but are there any other ways that they affect Earth and maybe just our solar system in general?
16
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3answers
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Are there any exact data about Earth's orbit?

Wikipedia says that the Earth's orbit's axis is $a=149\ 598\ 000\ \mathrm{km}$ and its eccentricity is $e=0.016\ 7086$, but if we use these values to find distance at aphelion and perihelion we get ...
15
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4answers
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How does gravity work underground?

Would the effect of gravity on me change if I were to dig a very deep hole and stand in it? If so, how would it change? Am I more likely to be pulled downwards, or pulled towards the edges of the ...
15
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4answers
2k views

What would happen if the Earth was in a polar orbit around the sun?

This is a question that has been bugging me for a while now, I was wondering about the effects on the Earth if it was in different orbital situations to what it is now, and one of those was what would ...
15
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1answer
264 views

Impact location that created the moon

I was reading an article today about the 1000th orbit of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and as many of you know NASA created an animation that simulates the history of the moon. It is speculated ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Do mankind and manmade activities/constructions have any effect on the rotation of the Earth?

We walk or ride on our vehicles to our destinations daily. Does our movement have any effect on the rotation of the earth according to Newton's law? What will be the effect if we move all the peoples ...
15
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2answers
522 views

What would happen to wet laundry in the vacuum of space?

Imagine for a second that I was in a college dorm room frustrated that all the dryers were broken or in use. I'm impatient and not a jerk so I don't wait or take out someone else's laundry, I shoot it ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Why is there a temperature gradient on Earth?

I was thinking about why the poles are colder and I came out with three possible explanations. 1. The atmosphere blocks light beams coming to poles The Sun is seen only slightly over the horizon ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Is the length of the day increasing?

In Frontiers of Astronomy, Fred Hoyle advanced an idea from E.E.R.Holmberg that although the Earth's day was originally much shorter than it is now, and has lengthened owing to tidal friction, that ...
14
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3answers
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Is the total energy of earth changing with time?

Many years ego, Earth was hot. Over time, it has lost energy and has become colder. Is it now in equilibrium or is its total energy changing?
14
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1answer
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What is the evidence for the super-rotation of Earth's inner core?

What are the geophysical observations that support (or contradict) the hypothesis that the Earth's inner core rotates at a faster rate than the Earth's mantle? Summary of Answers: 1) Studies of ...
13
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4answers
7k views

Can the Earth leave orbit if the population of humans and other live forms increases?

I don't know a lot about physics, but this seemed like the correct place to ask my question. I apologize in advance if it is a ridiculous one. It's actually a two part question: If the population ...
13
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5answers
3k views

Earth still exists - does this fact tell us anything about LHC safety?

When LHC was about to be launched there were many fears that it would destroy the world. To counter them scientists tried to carefully examine all possibilities and concluded that there is nothing ...
13
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1answer
959 views

Mars just collided with Earth! A question of eccentricity

One of the standard theories behind the formation of our Moon is the giant impact hypothesis, according to which Earth was struck by a Mars-sized body (about $10\%$ the mass of Earth) early in its ...
12
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5answers
9k views

Does Earth have a code name?

Everything we discover in the sky get eventually a code name, like NGC 7293, Simeis 147, etc. Does Earth/Moon have a code name too? Or it is just Earth/Moon, etc.?
12
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3answers
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Could an asteroid land slowly on Earth's surface?

The concept in my mind is that an asteroid is on a vector similar to Earth's, but slightly slower (e.g., 50kmh slower). As Earth passes it, it enters the atmosphere at a sharp angle, and since Earth ...
12
votes
2answers
383 views

How are the northern lights produced?

Although I've never seen it myself, I hear the northern lights are a sight to be seen! I know they're related to the Earth's magnetic field but I don't know much more about them. What is the physical ...
12
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1answer
358 views

Relationship between Mars and Earth rotation

Is it by pure random chance that Mars and the Earth have nearly the same day duration (Mars day is barely 40 minutes longer, which is just 3% difference), or there is some causal relationship between ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Are metals more heavy due to the Earth's magnetic field?

Non-metal objects are attracted to the Earth due to gravity. So the weight of non-metal objects can be only dependent on their mass. On the other hand metals can be attracted to the Earth's magnetic ...
11
votes
1answer
88 views

Why did the june 2011 lunar eclipse last so long?

It was kind of hard to miss the lunar eclipse this week, although I didn't see it in person (Sod's law means that on every relatively major astronomical event clouds cover where I am). From what I ...
11
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2answers
1k views

If the Earth didn't rotate, how would a Foucault pendulum work?

How does the Foucault pendulum work exactly, and would it work at all, if the Earth didn't rotate?
11
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1answer
2k views

What will happen if a gamma-ray burst hits the Earth?

Is there any probability that a gamma-ray burst (GRB) could affect the Earth?
11
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2answers
799 views

How much does the curvature of space change the volume of Earth by?

If we assume space is flat the volume of Earth is: $$ V = \frac{4 \pi R^3}{3} = \frac{4 \pi (6378.1 km)^3}{3} = 1.086 \times 10^{21} m^3 $$ The Einstein field equations, however, predict that the ...
10
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2answers
610 views

Could the earth have another moon?

First, to clarify: I'm not asking if perhaps there's a moon that we haven't found yet. The question is, theoretically, would the earth be able to have another stable moon in addition to the current ...
10
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2answers
490 views

Where did the energy released due to gravitational binding energy of the Earth go?

The gravitational binding energy of the Earth is $2×10^{32} J $, so the same amount of energy must have been released during the Earth's history. According to this and this, the current internal ...
10
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2answers
219 views

Does the geomagnetic field rotate?

The Earth rotates about it's own axis. Do the geomagnetic field lines rotate due to this rotation or not?