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Globe west 540.jpg
Symbol Symbol::⊕
Known to the ancients
Orbital characteristics
Celestial class Member of::Planet
Primary Primary::Sun
Order from primary Order::3
Perihelion Periapsis::147,090,000 km[1]
Aphelion Apoapsis::152,100,000 km[1]
Semi-major axis Semi-major axis::1.00000011 AU[1]
Titius-Bode prediction Titius-Bode prediction::1.0 AU
Orbital eccentricity Orbital eccentricity::0.01671022[1]
Sidereal year Sidereal period::365.256366 da[1]
Synodic year Synodic period::365.256366 da
Avg. orbital speed Orbital speed::29.783 km/s[1]
Inclination Inclination::0.00005° to the ecliptic[1]
Rotational characteristics
Sidereal day Sidereal day::23.9345 h[1]
Solar day Solar day::24 h[1]
Rotation speed Rotation speed::465.11 m/s
Axial tilt Axial tilt::23.439281°
Physical characteristics
Mass 5.9736 * 1024 kg[1]
Mean density Planet density::5,515.3 kg/m³[1]
Mean radius Mean radius::6371 km[1]
Equatorial radius Equatorial radius::6378.135 km
Polar radius Polar radius::6356.750 km[1]
Surface gravity Surface gravity::9.780327 m/s²
Escape speed Escape speed::11.186 km/s[1]
Surface area Planet surface area::510,065,600 km²
Land area Land area::148,939,100 km²
Water area Water area::361,126,400 km²
Minimum temperature Minimum temperature::185 K
Mean temperature Mean temperature::287 K
Maximum temperature Maximum temperature::331 K
Number of moons Satellites::1
Composition Composition::Rock and water
Color Color::#0033CC
Albedo Albedo::0.367[1]
Magnetic flux density Surface magnetic flux density::0.3076 G[1]
Magnetic dipole moment at present 7.98 * 1022 N-m/T[2]
Magnetic dipole moment at creation 1.41 * 1024 N-m/T[3]
Decay time Magnetic decay time::2049 a[3]
Half life Magnetic half life::1420 a[2]
Earth composition2.jpg

The Earth is the third planet from the sun, at a distance of about 150 million kilometers (93.0 million miles). This planet is quite unique in our solar system: it is the only planet known to have the characteristics necessary to permit human and other life.

Physical characteristics

The Earth approximates a sphere, but is slightly wider across the equator than from pole to pole. The equatorial radius is 6378.135 km., while the polar radius is only 6356.750 km. Similarly, the equatorial circumference is 40,075.004 km., while the polar circumference is 39,940.638 km. It takes 365.256 days for the Earth to travel around the Sun and 23.9345 hours for the Earth to make a complete rotation. The ecliptic, or orbit of the Earth around the Sun, is the standard reference for the inclinations of the orbits of all other bodies having the Sun as a primary. The ecliptic is inclined 7.25 degrees to the equator of the Sun.

1. Inner core (solid metal) 2. Outer core (molten metal) 3. Mesosphere (Mantle) 4. Asthenosphere (Upper mantle) 5. Lithosphere 6. Oceanic crust 7. Continental crust (not shown)

The planet Earth is made up of three main shells: the very thin, brittle crust, the mantle, and the core; the mantle and core are each divided into two parts. Although the core and mantle are about equal in thickness, the core actually forms only 15 percent of the Earth's volume, whereas the mantle occupies 84 percent. The crust makes up the remaining 1 percent. Our knowledge of the layering and chemical composition of the Earth is steadily being improved by earth scientists doing laboratory experiments on rocks at high pressure and analyzing earthquake records on computers.[4] Other important components include the Earth's atmospheric layers, the hydrosphere, and magnetosphere.


Because the crust is accessible to us, its geology has been extensively studied, and therefore much more information is known about its structure and composition than about the structure and composition of the mantle and core. Within the crust, intricate patterns are created when rocks are redistributed and deposited in layers through the geologic processes of eruption and intrusion of lava, erosion, and consolidation of rock particles, and solidification and recrystallization of porous rock.[4]

By the large-scale process of plate tectonics, about twelve plates, which contain combinations of continents and ocean basins, have moved around on the Earth's surface through much of geologic time. The edges of the plates are marked by concentrations of earthquakes and volcanoes. Collisions of plates can produce mountains like the Himalayas, the tallest range in the world. The plates include the crust and part of the upper mantle, and they move over a hot, yielding upper mantle zone at very slow rates of a few centimeters per year, slower than the rate at which fingernails grow. The crust is much thinner under the oceans than under continents.[4]

The boundary between the crust and mantle is called the Mohorovicic discontinuity (or Moho); it is named in honor of the man who discovered it, the Croatian scientist Andrija Mohorovicic. No one has ever seen this boundary, but it can be detected by a sharp increase downward in the speed of earthquake waves there. The explanation for the increase at the Moho is presumed to be a change in rock types. Drill holes to penetrate the Moho have been proposed, and a Soviet hole on the Kola Peninsula has been drilled to a depth of 12 kilometers, but drilling expense increases enormously with depth, and Moho penetration is not likely very soon.[4]


Our knowledge of the upper mantle, including the tectonic plates, is derived from analyses of earthquake waves (see figure for paths); heat flow, magnetic, and gravity studies; and laboratory experiments on rocks and minerals. Between 100 and 200 kilometers below the Earth's surface, the temperature of the rock is near the melting point; molten rock erupted by some volcanoes originates in this region of the mantle. This zone of extremely yielding rock has a slightly lower velocity of earthquake waves and is presumed to be the layer on which the tectonic plates ride. Below this low-velocity zone is a transition zone in the upper mantle; it contains two discontinuities caused by changes from less dense to more dense minerals. The chemical composition and crystal forms of these minerals have been identified by laboratory experiments at high pressure and temperature. The lower mantle, below the transition zone, is made up of relatively simple iron and magnesium silicate minerals, which change gradually with depth to very dense forms. Going from mantle to core, there is a marked decrease (about 30 percent) in earthquake wave velocity and a marked increase (about 30 percent) in density.[4]


The core was the first internal structural element to be identified. It was discovered in 1906 by R.D. Oldham, from his study of earthquake records, and it helped to explain Newton's calculation of the Earth's density. The outer core is presumed to be liquid because it does not transmit shear waves and because the velocity of compressional waves that pass through it is sharply reduced. The inner core is considered to be solid because of the behavior of P and S waves passing through it.[4]

Data from earthquake waves, rotations and inertia of the whole Earth, magnetic-field dynamo theory, and laboratory experiments on melting and alloying of iron all contribute to the identification of the composition of the inner and outer core. The core is presumed to be composed principally of iron, with about 10 percent alloy of oxygen or sulfur or nickel, or perhaps some combination of these three elements.[4]


Main article: Atmosphere

Our atmosphere is composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen, 78 and 21 percent respectively. [5]

The troposphere is where all the weather takes place and is about 14,000 meters high from the Earth's surface. Coupling it with the buffer zone before the stratosphere it is 18,000 meters from the surface. The stratosphere includes the thin ozone layer which houses a high concentration of a particularly reactive form of oxygen called ozone. The ozone layer is primarily responsible for absorbing the ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

The mesosphere is the third highest layer in our atmosphere, occupying a region of 50,000 to 80,000 meters above the surface. The ionosphere is beyond that reaching 350,000 meters into space measuring from the top of the stratosphere. This component of our atmosphere is very thin but is responsible for absorbing the most energetic photons from the sun and for reflecting radio waves, essentially making long-distance radio communication possible.[6][7]


Main article: Geomagnetism

Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field powerful enough to prevent most of the sun's radiation from striking the earth and harming the life on it. This field has been decaying at a known exponential rate, as decades of recordkeeping reveal. In 1984, Russell Humphreys developed a model for the creation of magnetic fields[3] that suggests that the earth was at first made entirely of water[8], much of which God transmuted into other elements after He made the earth, probably on Day 3 of creation. Humphreys' predicted magnetic decay time for the earth agrees well with published data and thus constitutes further evidence for a young earth.

Orbital characteristics

The Earth's orbit is defined by five facts:

  1. Earth's Rotation: The Earth rotates around its axis, taking 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.091 seconds to line up relative to the stars (Sidereal day), and 24 hours plus or minus 20 seconds to line up relative to the sun (Solar day). The solar day varies because the Earth is closer to the sun at some times of the year than others, which affects its rotation.
  2. Moon's orbit: The moon revolves around the Earth approximately every month. As the moon passes over a section of the Earth, its gravity raises the water in the seas, causing the tides.
  3. Earth's Revolution: The Earth revolves around the sun approximately 365.24 days, or one year. The Earth revolves in an elliptical path, so it is closer to the sun at some times of the year than others; the Earth moves faster when it is closer to the sun, reflecting Kepler's laws of planetary motion.
  4. Axial tilt: The Earth is tilted on its axis approximately 23.5 degrees relative to its orbit around the sun. Because of this tilt and the Earth's orbit around the sun, the Earth's northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun from March 20 to September 22, and the southern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun from September 22 to March 20. This is what causes the seasons.
  5. Precession: It takes 365.2421 days for the Earth to revolve far enough to line up with the sun(the tropical year), and 365.2425 days for the Earth to revolve far enough to line up with the background stars (the sidereal year). This phenomenon, called equinox precession, causes the sun to appear to us to move a little bit relative to the stars every year in a 24,000 year cycle called the Great Year, which was the basis of the Zodiac.

Questions for Orbital Observations

In discussion on the speed of gravity, physicist Tom Van Flandern[9] makes assertions that defy standard-model views of gravity and the Solar System. Some question and observations for consideration:

If the Sun were to blink-out and go dark, humans would not know it for at least 8 minutes, the time it takes for light to travel from the Sun to the Earth. But if the Sun's mass suddenly disappeared, all scientists agree that the Earth would start to drift immediately, not 8 minutes later. This clearly asserts that gravity travels faster than light.

This is not theoretical however, since the Milky Way is in motion through the cosmos, its galactic arms are rotating, meaning that by the time the Sun's light arrives to Earth, the Sun itself is no longer in the same physical location as when it emitted the light. It is in fact far, far distant from that location. Why don't humans perceive this?

If the Earth is revolving around the Sun as it zooms through the heavens, then it order to eliminate any hint of torque or drag effects, the Earth would have to speed-up on one side of the Sun and slow-down on the other, no differently than what a cameraman would have to do with a moving car if he wanted to offer the on-camera illusion that the car was standing still. Why don't humans perceive this discrepancy? Why don't we perceive that the Earth is revolving around an empty position in space, where the Sun used-to-be when its gravity first departed it?

The fact that Van Flandern points out is that gravity is too weak to hold a planet in place with the Sun moving independently at such speeds, so what force is keeping the Earth, and the other planets, from ongoing and dramatic orbital decay? This is the same question now being asked at the galactic level, giving rise to oddball "rescue-device" theories such as Dark Matter, without presuming that science may have entirely wrong presumptions about the nature of gravity itself. The same question is also now being applied to the atomic level. If electrons spin around the nucleus but the speed-of-light remains a constraint upon the forces that keep them there, why are they not completely unraveled by now?

Earth and the Solar System are Unique

Recent research on exo-planets has revealed that a star system of multiple planets arranged like those in the Solar System, is completely unique in the cosmos, to the degree that has been thus far observed[10]. When observing exo-planets, a common theme is a "hot Jupiter"[11], a large, gaseous planet like our Jupiter that is closer to its star than our Mercury is to the Sun. Such anomalies have repeated themselves to the extent that they are no longer anomalies or exceptions, but the rule.

Origin of 360 Degrees

Genesis 7-8 maintains a meticulous record of the length of a month and year. At this time of history, a month was exactly 30 days and a year exactly 12 months or 360 days. If the Flood restructured the Earth such that its angular momentum changed (e.g. like a spinning skater whirls faster when retracting her arms) this may explain the additional spin of the Earth from the original 360 days. An important note is that all circles, worldwide are measured in terms of 360 degrees, yet there is nothing geometrically or even astronomically consistent with using such a metric. this strongly supports the assertion that the use of 360 to define a circle is a leftover metric from pre-Flood times, when the circle of the Earth around the Sun used 360 days.


Earth land shallow topo.jpg

The Sun, Earth, Moon and all the other planets move in a delicate, harmonious, and complex pattern, much like that of a clock. Furthermore the planetary clock is designed around the same golden ratio as the human body. All of these facts are observable and point to design not blind chance as evolutionary cosmology would lead you to believe.

An interesting inference can be deduced in the form of a question. Did these planets come to be arranged in such harmonious motion by chance and natural law, or by design?

Neither the origin of the planets, origin of the sun, or origin of the moon through the nebula hypothesis have lived up to the standard of science when philosophic naturalism is so prevalent. Furthermore as we discover more facts about their harmonious motion, many aspects of it appear to defy the known facts of astrophysics. Therefore, naturalistic explanations for the moment are not science but mere speculation or presuppositions used to interpret the observable science we all have. Many however are not even reasonable presuppositions to hold as a scientist because they are experimentally impossible.

On the other hand, the history of Genesis states that the sun, moon, and other stars (including the planets) were put into place to allow time of hours, days, years and seasons. While this fact cannot be observed or tested it is consistent with the design inference of Intelligent Design. This view is no more a presupposition than that of what evolution posits. That is to say, if someone or something did put the planets into orbit rather than the blind chance of evolution choosing the correct path to form such objects, we would expect exactly what we see now, namely planets in a harmonic, delicate balance.

Therefore, while there is no hard scientific "proof" of either views presuppositions some inferences are more reasonable than others:

  • Naturalists infer that the Earth and solar system originated by strictly naturalistic means even though evidence or explanation for such is severely lacking. For example the laws and constants that govern physics are so percise that intelligent design not only becomes scientifically valid but logically deduced.
  • Supernaturalists infer that the Earth and solar system were designed, due to their beautiful, harmonic, and aesthetic motion based on the golden ratio and ancient histories which affirm the creation of the Earth by God.



[[Satellite::{{#ask:Primary::Earth|link=none|limit=250|sep=| ]][[Satellite::}}| ]] {{#ask: Primary::Earth |?Periapsis#km=Perigee |?Apoapsis#km=Apogee |?Orbital eccentricity=Eccentricity |?Sidereal period#da=Sidereal month |?Inclination#° |?Lunar mass#M☾=Mass |?Sidereal day#h |format=table |mainlabel = Name |default = This body has no satellites. |intro = Table of satellites, in order from the innermost to the outermost: |sort=Semi-major axis |order=asc |}}

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  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 "Earth Fact Sheet," NASA, April 19, 2007. Accessed May 2, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Calculated
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Humphreys, D. R. "The Creation of Planetary Magnetic Fields." Creation Research Society Quarterly 21(3), December 1984. Accessed April 29, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 The Interior of the Earth by Eugene Robertson, US Geological Survey, Accessed January 13, 2011.
  5. Hamilton, Calvin J. "Earth Introduction." Views of the Solar System, 2001. Accessed January 11, 2008.
  6. "Entry on Mesosphere." Encyclopedia of the Atmospheric Environment, 2000. Accessed January 11, 2008.
  7. "Lecture on the Earth's Atmosphere." Astronomy 161, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, n.d. Accessed January 11, 2008.
  8. See II_Peter 3:5

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